The great planet Saturn reveals mysteries more profound, and stories more grand, than those occasioned by its ancient mythological namesake.
The giant planet is a moody world whose disposition appears to change with the view. Its atmosphere rages with thunderous and hurricane-like storms. Its majestic rings spin a tale of ancient collisions and cataclysm. And its moons may hold secrets to the origins of life.
This view looks toward the lit side of the rings from about 28 degrees below the ringplane.
The image was taken using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 890 nanometers. The view was acquired with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Jan. 30, 2007 at a distance of approximately 1.1 million kilometers (700,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 60 kilometers (38 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.