CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Scattered Sunshine
[For trouble viewing the images/movies on this page, go here]
Scattered Sunshine
PIA 10446

Avg Rating: 9.06/10

Full Size 993x890:
PNG 918 KB
  Saturn's icy rings shine in scattered sunlight in this view, which looks toward the unilluminated northern side of the rings from about 15 degrees above the ringplane.

The Sun currently illuminates the rings from the south. Some of the sunlight not reflected from the rings' southern face is scattered through the countless particles, setting the rings aglow.

The inner F-ring shepherd moon Prometheus (86 kilometers, 53 miles across) appears at lower left.

Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. Bright clumps of material in the narrow F ring moved in their orbits between each of the color exposures, creating a chromatic misalignment in several places that provides some sense of the continuous motion in the ring system.

The images were obtained with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on July 4, 2008 at a distance of approximately 1.2 million kilometers (770,000 miles) from Saturn. The Sun-ring-spacecraft, or phase, angle was 28 degrees. Image scale is 70 kilometers (44 miles) per pixel.

The Cassini Equinox Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. 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 was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. 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.

For more information about the Cassini Equinox Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: August 13, 2008 (PIA 10446)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
Red_dragon (Aug 13, 2008 at 9:46 AM):
Fantastic image. Although we've seen many of this type, they continue to be really worth to see.