Saturn casts its shadow on the rings in this Cassini image that also shows how the rings reflect sunlight onto the dark side of the planet. Here Saturn appears dimly illuminated by this ringshine.
This view looks toward the southern, unilluminated side of the rings from about 10 degrees below the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible blue light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Jan. 2, 2010. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 2.3 million kilometers (1.4 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 102 degrees. Image scale is 131 kilometers (81 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.