With the Sun directly behind Cassini, the spacecraft spies the opposition surge in Saturn's inner A ring. The opposition effect becomes visible from this special viewing geometry.
See Opposition Surge on the A Ring for a detailed description of the effect.
This view looks toward the rings from about 11 degrees below the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Dec. 2, 2006 at a distance of approximately 287,000 kilometers (178,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 17 kilometers (11 miles) per pixel.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute