CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Pastel Rings

Pastel Rings
PIA 11478

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  This natural color view from Cassini highlights the myriad gradations in the transparancy of Saturn's inner rings.

The dark shadows of the rings separate Saturn's southern hemisphere in the bottom of the image from the north. The innermost D ring is invisible laid over the planet's northern hemisphere. The translucent C ring runs through the middle of the image. The denser B ring stretches across the top of the image.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 48 degrees below the ringplane. 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. 28, 2009 at a distance of approximately 1 million kilometers (621,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 59 kilometers (36 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 24, 2009 (PIA 11478)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971 (May 3, 2009 at 8:25 PM):
Interesting view. Here Saturn is showing very fews hints only of its belts and zones.
Red_dragon (Apr 25, 2009 at 4:05 AM):
Magnificent. I've to recognize I'm an addict to these breathtaking images. Excellent work, CICLOPS!
mipsandbips (Apr 24, 2009 at 9:39 PM):
The shadow of demarcation, the Saturnian equator,
highlights in this image very fine textures of ring structure.