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Cassini looked toward the darkened night side of Saturn to capture the eerie glow of the rings which, not being blocked by the planet's bulk, remained brilliant in full sunlight.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Dec. 24, 2005, at a distance of approximately 286,000 kilometers (178,000 miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 13 kilometers (8 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 Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The imaging team consists of scientists from the US, England, France, and Germany. The imaging operations center and team lead (Dr. C. Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.