Contrast Across the Shadows
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Contrast Across the Shadows

February 3, 2008

Saturn's rings sweep around the planet, throwing their dark shadows onto the northern hemisphere.

The equatorial region is generally brighter than the rest of the planet in Cassini spacecraft views, but the contrast is often striking in monochrome views like this, taken in the infrared part of the spectrum at wavelengths sensitive to methane absorption in the planet's atmosphere.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 24 degrees above the ringplane.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Dec. 17, 2007 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 890 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.1 million kilometers (668,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 61 kilometers (38 miles) per pixel.

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