Join Donate

The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

Saturn's night side (color)

Saturn's night side (color)

Click to view full image

NASA / JPL-Caltech / SSI / Björn Jónsson

Saturn's night side (color)
Saturn is seen in a crescent phase, and the rings are lit from below. The B ring appears relatively dark because it is opaque, while the very tenuous C and F rings appear bright because the tiny particles in them scatter light efficiently to Cassini.

As of July 26, 2006, Cassini's orbit had been shifted so that the spacecraft spent the majority of its time on the night side of Saturn and on the northern side of the ring plane. All of the globe of Saturn that is visible is actually in local night (note the direction of the shadow cast on the rings). It is partially lit by light that is reflected and scattered off the rings, especially in its southern hemisphere (below the ring plane).

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. For uses not allowed by that license, contact us to request publication permission from the copyright holder: Björn Jónsson

Explore related images: BMSIL, pretty pictures, photo taken from space, Cassini, data art (was amateur image processing), Saturn, Saturn's rings

You are here:
Comments & Sharing
More Images
Bill Nye and people
Let's Change the World

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Today

Bruce Murray and Carl Sagan
Pretty Pictures

Support the Bruce Murray Space Image Library and help us share the wonders of other worlds.


"We're changing the world. Are you in?"
- CEO Bill Nye

I'm In!