Saturn's shadow cuts across the rings in this view from high above the ringplane. The vacuum of space makes the shadows much darker than we are used to here on Earth, where the planet's atmosphere can scatter light into the shadowed region.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Oct. 18, 2008 at a distance of approximately 749,000 kilometers (465,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 44 degrees. Image scale is 41 kilometers (26 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.