CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Dusky Saturn

Brooding Saturn seems to be missing its rings, but their shadows on the planet betray their presence. The inner rings are in fact contained within this scene, but they are so tenuous as to be nearly invisible.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 52 degrees above the ringplane. Some motion is apparent in Saturn's clouds between the exposures used to create this color composite, as evidenced by the 'rainbow' effect seen here and there across the face of the planet.

Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. The images were taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on April 5, 2007 at a distance of approximately 1.5 million kilometers (900,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 84 kilometers (52 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.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit and the Cassini imaging team home page,

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: May 9, 2007 (PIA 08936)
Image/Caption Information
  Dusky Saturn
PIA 08936

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Alliance Member Comments
Red_dragon (Dec 1, 2007 at 5:15 AM):
Breathtaking. And if the WAC had captured the entire Saturn's crescent it would have been even more beautiful. With images as this, I can understand what i feel when i see Saturn through a telescope.