Known for its bright ring
system and many moons, gas giant
Saturn looks strange and unfamiliar in this false-color
view from the Cassini spacecraft.
in this Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer
mosaic the famous rings
are almost invisible, seen edge-on cutting across
The most striking contrast in the image is
along the terminator or boundary between night and day.
To the right (day side) blue-green hues
are visible sunlight reflected from Saturn's cloud tops.
But on the left (night side) in the absence of sunlight, the
lantern-like glow of infrared radiation from the
planet's warm interior silhouettes features at Saturn's deeper cloud levels.
The infrared glow also shines from the
broad shadows of Saturn's rings
sweeping across the
planet's upper hemisphere.