Saturn's northern hemisphere reached its summer solstice in mid-2017, bringing continuous sunshine to the planet's far north.
The solstice took place on May 24, 2017. The Cassini mission is using the unparalleled opportunity to observe changes that occur on the planet as the Saturnian seasons turn.
This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 17 degrees above the ring plane. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on April 17, 2017 using a spectral filter which preferentially admits wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 939 nanometers.
The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 733,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) from Saturn. Image scale is 44 miles (70 kilometers) 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.