Cinching the Belt
The shadow of Saturn's rings looks like a belt fastened around the planet's equator in this image. Overexposure to bring out the ring's details makes Saturn appear especially bright.
The planet's C ring is visible on the left of the image. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from about 17 degrees above the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Jan. 11, 2010. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 370,000 kilometers (230,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 28 degrees. Image scale is 19 kilometers (12 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