Symmetry in Shadow
March 1, 2007
Magnificent blue and gold Saturn floats obliquely as one of its gravity-bound companions, Dione, hangs in the distance. The darkened rings seem to nearly touch their shadowy reverse images on the planet below.
This view looks toward the unlit side of the rings from about 9 degrees above the ring plane. The rings glow feebly in the scattered light that filters through them.
Dione is 1,126 kilometers (700 miles) across.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Feb. 4, 2007, at a distance of approximately 1.2 million kilometers (800,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 75 kilometers (47 miles) 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/Space Science Institute