CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Saturn's Night Colors

This rare color view of Saturn's night side shows how the rings dimly illuminate the southern hemisphere, giving it a dull golden glow. Part of the northern dark side is just visible at top-the illumination it receives being far less than the south.

The unlit side of the rings is shown here. The portion of the rings closest to Cassini is within the dark shadow of Saturn; the bright distant portion is outside the planet's shadow.

A crescent Tethys (1,062 kilometers, 660 miles across) appears below the rings at left.

Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this color view. The images were taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 2, 2006, at a distance of approximately 3.8 million kilometers (2.4 million miles) from Saturn and 3.5 kilometers (2.2 million miles) from Tethys. The image scale is about 23 kilometers (14 miles) per pixel on Saturn.

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 11, 2006 (PIA 08176)
Image/Caption Information
  Saturn's Night Colors
PIA 08176

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