The simple beauty of Saturn's rings—curving lines of varied shades that have surrounded the planet for eons—is captured in visible light. The white edge of the B ring and the black of the Huygens Gap are on the left.
This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 7 degrees below the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Jan. 14, 2009. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 551,000 kilometers (343,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 155 degrees. Image scale is 3 kilometers (2 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.