With Saturn's terminator as a backdrop, this view of the unlit face of the rings makes it easy to distinguish between areas that are actual gaps, where light passes through essentially unimpeded, and areas where the rings block or scatter light. The former are regions in which the brightness varies strongly from left to right as the background goes from bright to dark.
Parts of the image are saturated at left.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on July 24, 2006 at a distance of approximately 577,000 kilometers (359,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 101 degrees. Image scale is 31 kilometers (19 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.