Difference on the Dark Side
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Difference on the Dark Side

June 16, 2007

Saturn's A ring displays a marked asymmetry in brightness between the region nearer to the Cassini spacecraft and the region farther from it. The A ring is the broad, bright section of the rings outside of the dark B ring. The asymmetry may help scientists understand various properties of the rings, such as the sizes of the particles and their arrangement into clumps.

The rings' dark shadows hug Saturn's northern hemisphere.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 7 degrees above the ringplane. The planet is overexposed in this observation, which was designed to capture details in the rings.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on May 14, 2007 at a distance of approximately 1.8 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 101 kilometers (63 miles) per pixel.

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