This thin neon line is a look through the backlit sky of Saturn, as color-calibrated by Gordan Ugarkovic. This is a natural-color segment of a larger photo, seen here.
On September 15, 2006, Cassini captured one of the most breathtaking images of Saturn ever, during an eclipse event when Saturn was perfectly backlit by the sun. This gave us an unprecedented view of the rings, especially the hazy outermost E ring, which is fed by particles ejected from Enceladus’ ice geysers. It also showed us how we look from Saturn…Earth is visible as a pale dot on the inner edge of the F ring.
Gordan’s image above is of the upper edge of Saturn’s north pole. The glow of the E ring is barely visible in the background. His coloration is more true-to-life, as opposed to the over-saturated version from the press release. Another great piece of work, beautiful in its simplicity.
Image: NASA/JPL/SSI/Gordan Ugarkovic