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Saturn's brightly lit rings slice across this Cassini picture taken before a backdrop of the planet's clouds.
The shadow of the rings can be seen cast upon the planet in the lower right of the image. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 11, 2010 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 938 nanometers.
The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.9 million kilometers (1.2 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 77 degrees. Image scale is 11 kilometers (7 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.