CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Saturn's Subtle Spectrum

Dreamy colors ranging from pale rose to butterscotch to sapphire give this utterly inhospitable gas planet a romantic appeal. Shadows of the rings caress the northern latitudes whose blue color is presumed to be a seasonal effect.

Enceladus (504 kilometers, 313 miles across) hugs the ringplane right of center.

Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this color view, which approximates what the human eye would see. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on March 16, 2006 at a distance of approximately 2.1 million kilometers (1.3 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 102 degrees. Image scale is 120 kilometers (75 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: April 2, 2009 (PIA 08166)
Image/Caption Information
  Saturn's Subtle Spectrum
PIA 08166

Avg Rating: 9.09/10

Full Size 1016x1002:
PNG 531 KB

Alliance Member Comments
saarmason (Dec 23, 2013 at 11:45 AM):
Wonderful Christmas Gift sharing this Image of Saturn and her little Moon. I feel like I'm looking out a window of a space ship and gazing at this awesome Planet. How GREAT is it to be seeing such crisp, sharp and colorful planetary images? Thank you, Carolyn and your Team, for sharing such beauty with us again this year! Merry Christmas to all. George S. NY
rulesfor (Aug 4, 2008 at 8:40 PM):
Thanks for the info, Carolyn, and thanks to you and your team for taking these wonderful images and sharing them with us.
carolyn (CICLOPS) (Aug 3, 2008 at 7:54 AM):
Rulesfor: We will be selling hard copy prints of Cassini images. Go to Store at and mail your suggestion for the image. Include the PIA number and any other relevant description. We're not completely set up yet, and can't do bulk orders, but could do a limited number. Also, join our Forum to discuss issues related to science and the media.
rulesfor (Aug 2, 2008 at 11:30 AM):
Does anyone know if there are any prints/posters of this image available to buy? It's my favorite from the mission, so far.