Saturn’s shadow falls upon its rings in this image acquired by Cassini on March 20, 2009. Reflected light from the southern hemisphere of the planet illuminates part of the normally transparent C ring, silhouetting the ring segments there.
This image is an approximate true-color view of the planet and rings as might be seen by human eyes. Background stars can be seen through the rings at lower right.
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. Carolyn Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
Image credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute