CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Blue Expanse

Blue Expanse
PIA 08942

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  Cassini surveys Saturn's outstretched ring system in the infrared from a vantage point high above the planet's northern latitudes. Nearly the full expanse of the main rings is visible here -- from the C ring to the outer edge of the A ring (in the upper left corner).

Ring shadows are visible on the planet at lower left, and two large storms swirl near center.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 52 degrees above the ringplane.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera using a combination of spectral filters sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 752 (red channel), 890 (blue channel) and 728 (green channel) nanometers. The view was acquired on April 5, 2007 at a distance of approximately 1.4 million kilometers (900,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 81 kilometers (51 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 17, 2007 (PIA 08942)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
Moonsister (Jun 20, 2007 at 1:09 PM):
This is awesome in every sense of the word!! Talk about surfing with the aliens! I am "Flying in a Blue Dream"..Listen to Joe Satriani's album of the same name when viewing (or surfing) these incredible Cassini images, you'll be glad you did!
DEChengst (May 17, 2007 at 1:34 PM):
Cassini did it again. Just plain awesome.
Red_dragon (May 17, 2007 at 7:51 AM):
Yet even more views of an alien world who looks like Saturn. Are you sure it was Cassini the probe that took the image? :)