Cassini obtained this panoramic view of Saturn's rings on Sept. 9, 2017, just minutes after it passed through the ring plane. The view looks upward at the southern face of the rings from a vantage point above Saturn's southern hemisphere.
The entirety of the main rings can be seen here, but due to the low viewing angle, the rings appear extremely foreshortened. The C ring, with its sharp, bright plateaus (see Plateaus Up Close), appears at left; the B ring is the darkened region stretching from bottom center toward upper right; the A ring is seen at far right. This view shows the rings' unilluminated face, where sunlight filters through from the other side.
For a labeled view of Saturn's rings, see Expanse of Ice.
For another mosaic showing the view from between Saturn and the rings, see Inside-Out Rings: Over the Limb. A previously released movie sequence showed Cassini's changing view, gazing out upon the rings as the spacecraft passed through the ring plane from north to south (see Cassini's 'Inside-Out' Rings Movie).
The Cassini spacecraft ended its mission on Sept. 15, 2017.
The Cassini mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (the European Space Agency) and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. 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, Colorado.