No Earth-based telescope could ever capture a view quite like this. Earth-based views can only show Saturn’s daylit side, from within about 25 degrees of Saturn’s equatorial plane. A spacecraft in orbit, like Cassini, can capture stunning scenes that would be impossible from our home planet.
This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 25 degrees (if Saturn is dominant in image) above the ring plane. The image was taken in violet light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Oct. 28, 2016.
The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 810,000 miles (1.3 million kilometers) from Saturn. Image scale is 50 miles (80 kilometers) per pixel.
The Cassini mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (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. 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, Colorado.