A crescent Saturn appears nestled within encircling rings in this Cassini image.
Clouds swirl through the atmosphere of the planet. Prometheus (86 kilometers, 53 miles across) orbits between the main rings and the thin F ring, and this moon appears as a speck above the rings near the middle of the image.
This view looks toward the southern, unilluminated side of the rings from about 3 degrees below the ringplane.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Sept. 14, 2010 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 890 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 2.6 million kilometers (1.6 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 100 degrees. Image scale on Saturn is 151 kilometers (94 miles) per pixel.
The Cassini Solstice 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.