Saturn’s Golden Rings

Nothing but rings in this Cassini photograph. NASA’s spacecraft captured this beautiful image of Saturn’s outer B and inner A rings. The colour of the rings looks more golden now than earlier in the mission because the Cassini’s angle to the rings has changed. This view has a high phase angle, towards the unlit side of the rings. Cassini took this image on September 29, 2006 when it was approximately 1.829 million kilometers (1.137 million miles) from Saturn.

The rings are awash in subtle tones of gold and cream in this view which shows the outer B ring, the Cassini Division and the inner part of the A ring.

In this viewing geometry, the brightest feature in the Cassini Division is the recently discovered diffuse ringlet near the outer edge of the Division (see also PIA08330). The diffuse ringlet has a distinctive bluish cast.

The color of the rings appears more golden than earlier in the mission because of the viewing geometry here — increased scattering in the rings is brought about by the high phase angle and the view being toward the rings’ unlit side.

This view looks toward the unlit side of the rings from about 30 degrees above the ringplane.

Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. The images were acquired by the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Sept. 29, 2006 at a distance of approximately 1.829 million kilometers (1.137 million miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 11 kilometers (7 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.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit The Cassini imaging team homepage is at

Original Source: NASA/JPL/SSI News Release