The Cassini spacecraft looks toward daybreak on Saturn through the delicate strands of the C ring. Some structure and contrast is visible in the clouds far below.
This view looks toward the unlit side of the rings from about 18 degrees above the ringplane.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 862 nanometers. The view was acquired on Nov. 4, 2006 at a distance of approximately 1.7 million kilometers (1 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 162 degrees. Image scale is 10 kilometers (6 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.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute