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A startling silhouette of Saturn is created in this Cassini portrait.
Although the sun is on the other side of Saturn in this dramatic image, some sunlight scatters through the uppermost part of the atmosphere to reach Cassini's cameras. See PIA12603 to learn more.
This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Feb. 13, 2010 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 392,000 kilometers (243,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 174 degrees. Image scale is 20 kilometers (12 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.