This natural color view from the Cassini spacecraft highlights the myriad gradations in the transparency of Saturn's inner rings.
The dark shadows of the rings separate Saturn's southern hemisphere in the bottom of the image from the north. The innermost D ring is invisible, laid over the planet's northern hemisphere. The translucent C ring runs through the middle of the image. The denser B ring stretches across the top of the image.
This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 48 degrees below the ringplane. Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. The images were acquired with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Feb. 28, 2009 at a distance of approximately 1 million kilometers (620,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 59 kilometers (37 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