CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Toward Morning

Cassini looks toward daybreak on Saturn through the delicate strands of the C ring. Some structure and contrast is visible in the clouds far below.

This view looks toward the unlit side of the rings from about 18 degrees above the ringplane.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 862 nanometers. The view was acquired on Nov. 4, 2006 at a distance of approximately 1.7 million kilometers (1 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 162 degrees. Image scale is 10 kilometers (6 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: January 23, 2007 (PIA 08860)
Image/Caption Information
  Toward Morning
PIA 08860

Avg Rating: 7.82/10

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Alliance Member Comments
Dave Gallagher (Jan 24, 2007 at 6:11 PM):
This image, subtle and unintrusive, makes ideal computer desktop wallpaper. The darkness at the edges provides perfect contrast for desktop icons in XP, Vista, and OS X. Set it, get back to work, and when it's time for a breather just hide your apps and you're flung back into orbit.
Ed Rolko (Jan 23, 2007 at 1:07 PM):
Now play with the contrast and brightness on your display and see what you will see !!!