In a dazzling and dramatic portrait painted by the Sun, the long thin shadows of Saturn's rings sweep across the planet's northern latitudes. Within the shadows, bright bands represent areas where the ring material is less dense, while dark strips and wave patterns reveal areas of denser material.
The shadow darkens sharply near upper right, corresponding to the boundary of the thin C ring with denser B ring. A wide-field, natural color view of these shadows can be seen in PIA06164.
The orb of Mimas (396 kilometers, 246 miles across) has wandered into view near the bottom. A few of the large craters on this small moon are visible.
The image was taken with the narrow angle camera on January 18, 2005, from a distance of 1.4 million kilometers (889,000 miles) from Saturn using a filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. The image scale is 9 kilometers (5.5 miles) per pixel.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. 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.