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File:Saturn from Cassini Orbiter (2007-01-19).jpg


Target Name: Saturn
Is a satellite of: Sun
Mission: Cassini
Spacecraft: Cassini Orbiter
Instrument: Imaging Science Subsystem - Wide Angle
Product Size: 4088 samples x 2908 lines
Produced By: Cassini Imaging Team
Primary Data Set: Cassini
Full-Res TIFF: PIA08362.tif (35.66 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA08362.jpg (671 kB)

Blinding Saturn
Taking in the rings in their entirety was the focus of this particular imaging sequence. Therefore, the camera exposure times were just right to capture the dark-side of its rings, but longer than that required to properly expose the globe of sunlit Saturn. Consequently, the sunlit half of the planet is overexposed. The rest of the planet is cast in a hemispherical shadow.

Between the blinding light of day and the dark of night, there is a strip of twilight on the globe where colorful details in the atmosphere can be seen. Bright clouds dot the bluish-grey northern polar region here. In the south, the planet's night side glows golden in reflected light from the rings' sunlit face.

Saturn's shadow stretches completely across the rings in this view, taken on Jan. 19, 2007, in contrast to what Cassini saw when it arrived in 2004 (see PIA05429).

The view is a mosaic of 36 images — that is, 12 separate sets of red, green and blue images — taken over the course of about 2.5 hours, as Cassini scanned across the entire main ring system.

This view looks toward the unlit side of the rings from about 40 degrees above the ring plane.

The images in this natural-colour view were obtained with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera at a distance of approximately 1.23 million kilometers (764,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 70 kilometers (44 miles) per pixel.

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Shuttle.svg This image or video was catalogued by Jet Propulsion Lab of the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) under Photo ID: PIA08362.
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