Saturn’s Crescent

NASA’s caption:
Although only a sliver of Saturn’s sunlit face is visible in this view, the mighty gas giant planet still dominates the view.

From this vantage point just beneath the ring plane, the dense B ring becomes dark and essentially opaque, letting almost no light pass through. But some light reflected by the planet passes through the less dense A ring, which appears above the B ring in this photo. The C ring, silhouetted just below the B ring, lets almost all of Saturn’s reflected light pass right through it, as if it were barely there at all. The F ring appears as a bright arc in this image, which is visible against both the backdrop of Saturn and the dark sky. (For a diagram showing the names and positions of the rings see PIA08389.)

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 7 degrees below the ring plane. The image was taken in green light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Jan. 18, 2017.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 630,000 miles (1 million kilometers) from Saturn. Image scale is 38 miles (61 kilometers) per pixel.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

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