CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Stately Saturn

Saturn, stately and resplendent in this natural color view, dwarfs the icy moon Rhea.

Rhea (1528 kilometers, 949 miles across) orbits beyond the rings on the right of the image. The moon Tethys is not shown here, but its shadow is visible on the planet on the left of the image. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane.

Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. The images were obtained with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Nov. 4, 2009 at a distance of approximately 1.3 million kilometers (808,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 72 kilometers (45 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: December 25, 2009 (PIA 12513)
Image/Caption Information
  Stately Saturn
PIA 12513

Avg Rating: 9.29/10

Full Size 1001x1628:
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Alliance Member Comments
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971 (Dec 31, 2009 at 12:53 PM):
Beautiful and great image ! Taken some months after equinox only, there is at this moment no fall/winter hemisphere having bluish hues. The colors of the northern and the southern Saturnian latitudes are very similar. It's showing Saturn's colors around equinox very well.
Red_dragon (Dec 25, 2009 at 12:17 PM):
A GREAT -in all senses- image. And the best things are: 1) try to find Tethys' shadow, 2) compare with earlier images to see how has been disappearing Saturn's blues. Keep up the good work! (and, by the way, hope to see soon a Voyager-like Cassini's picture of Saturn)