This strongly enhanced false color view is a departure from the familiar bluish north and golden south seen in natural color Cassini spacecraft images, but the contrast between regions north and south of the ring shadows is here more readily apparent.
The northern region is marked by a multitude of bright, patchy clouds. The region south of the ring shadows contains the bright equatorial band seen in many monochrome Cassini views taken at infrared wavelengths (see Three Views of Saturn).
Taken just minutes after Dusky Saturn, this view makes Saturn's rings faintly visible at lower left. The false color enhancement brings out additional detail in the planet's clouds that is not visible in the natural color view.
This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 52 degrees above the ringplane.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera using a combination of spectral filters sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 728 (red channel), 752 (blue channel) and 890 (green channel) nanometers. The view was acquired on April 5, 2007 at a distance of approximately 1.5 million kilometers (900,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 84 kilometers (52 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