CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Nested Rings

Saturn's northern hemisphere is seen here against its nested rings.

This view from Cassini looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 30 degrees above the ringplane. The rings have been brightened relative to the planet to enhance visibility. Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. The images were acquired with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Feb. 24, 2009 at a distance of approximately 866,000 kilometers (538,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 38 kilometers (24 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.

For more information about the Cassini Equinox Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: April 17, 2009 (PIA 11473)
Image/Caption Information
  Nested Rings
PIA 11473

Avg Rating: 9.29/10

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Alliance Member Comments
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971 (May 3, 2009 at 7:34 PM):
A very interesting view. Meanwhile the rings are ( almost ) golden in color as usual giant Saturn looks greenish being unusual. ( It reminds me on the green of Uranus it was believed to be before the approach of the Voyager 2 spacecraft to it. But after that encounter Uranus's color was found out to be a kind of light blue. ) ( With the rings in familiar colors but Saturn decidedly not it has looked at my first glance almost like a false-color image or like an alien gas giant not in our Solar System. )
carolyn (CICLOPS) (Apr 19, 2009 at 8:31 PM):
Jay55: Well let's see what it looks like come mid-August!
Jay55 (Apr 19, 2009 at 6:49 PM):
Can Saturn get any more beautiful!
RobCass (Apr 18, 2009 at 2:30 PM):
The subtle colors of Saturnīs atmosphere in this image are simple beautiful !
The rings in my opinion are now equal in color and illumination as during the Voyager 2 flyby in 1981, isn, it ? Sunlight was falling also very shallow during both Voyager flybys.
Red_dragon (Apr 17, 2009 at 7:00 AM):
Truly beautiful and even quite alien, especially since instead of bluish hues seems we're seeing greenish ones. Thanks, CICLOPS