CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Long Day's Journey into Night

Long Day's Journey into Night
PIA 14659

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  Saturn's shadow cuts darkly across its rings as the orbits of ring particles carry them suddenly from day to night. With no atmosphere to scatter light, shadows in space are much darker than we're used to here on Earth.

The ghostly, transient features known as `spokes' can be faintly seen in Saturn's B ring. More on spokes can be found at PIA11144 and PIA08288.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 47 below the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on March 5, 2013.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 891,000 miles (1.434 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 85 degrees. Image scale is 51 miles (82 kilometers) per pixel.

The Cassini Solstice 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 Solstice Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Released: May 6, 2013 (PIA 14659)
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