Rendered in myriad hues, vivid details of Saturn's stormy atmosphere play out below the shadow of the rings. A well defined storm swirls through the atmosphere of the southern hemisphere in the lower left of the image, like the tight blue circle of an eye's iris.
This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 36 degrees below the ringplane. Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. The images were obtained with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Dec. 29, 2008 at a distance of approximately 1.1 million kilometers (662,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 51 degrees. Image scale is 60 kilometers (37 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.