Saturn, which appears as only a thin, lit crescent, broken only by the shadows of its rings, poses gracefully for the Cassini spacecraft cameras.
This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 42 degrees below the ringplane. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Sept. 20, 2013 using a spectral filter which only admits wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers.
The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.4 million miles (2.3 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 142 degrees. Image scale is 84.5 miles (136 kilometers) 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 mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute