Cassini Spacecraft Views a Sliver of Saturn

New Cassini Image Views a Sliiver of Saturn

B ring is dark, A ring lets some light through, C ring barely visible and F ring is a bright arc visible against Saturn and the dark sky. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Although only a sliver of Saturn’s sunlit face is visible in this new Cassini image, the mighty gas giant planet still dominates the view.

From this vantage point just beneath the ring plane, the dense B ring becomes dark and essentially opaque, letting almost no light pass through. But some light reflected by the planet passes through the less dense A ring, which appears above the B ring in this photo. The C ring, silhouetted just below the B ring, lets almost all of Saturn’s reflected light pass right through it, as if it were barely there at all. The F ring appears as a bright arc in this image, which is visible against both the backdrop of Saturn and the dark sky.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 7 degrees below the ring plane. The image was taken in green light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on January 18, 2017.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 630,000 miles (1 million kilometers) from Saturn. Image scale is 38 miles (61 kilometers) per pixel.

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