Night Side Rings
Saturn casts a wide shadow across its rings in this Cassini spacecraft view which looks toward the darkened southern hemisphere of the night side of the planet.
See Light and Dark Tricks and Activity Past Dark Side to see other dramatic views depicting and explaining the interplay of sunlight between Saturn and its rings.
Janus (111 miles, or 179 kilometers across) appears as a small white dot in the bottom left of the view, beyond the rings. Epimetheus (70 miles, or 113 kilometers across) appears in the top left.
This view looks toward the southern, unilluminated side of the rings from about 20 degrees below the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on June 24, 2012. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.2 million miles (2 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 103 degrees. Image scale is 71 miles (115 kilometers) 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-Caltech/Space Science Institute