CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Night Side Ringplane

The usually bright B ring (at center) is dramatically dim in this view of the rings taken on the unilluminated side of the rings. The scene resembles a photographic negative, with bright and dark areas reversed (although in some places in the rings, it is the blackness of space that is seen.) From this viewing angle, the rings are lit from below: both dense and empty regions are dark, and regions of intermediate particle density are bright.

The image was taken with the wide angle camera on October 27 from a distance of about 631,000 kilometers (392,000 miles) from Saturn through a filter sensitive to wavelengths of visible violet light. The image scale is 34 kilometers (21 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: December 1, 2004 (PIA 06533)
Image/Caption Information
  Night Side Ringplane
PIA 06533

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