|What do Saturn's rings look like from the dark side?
From Earth, we usually see Saturn's rings from the same side
of the ring plane that the Sun illuminates them -- one might call this the bright side.
Geometrically, in the
above picture taken in August by the
robot Cassini spacecraft now orbiting
the Sun is behind the camera but on the
other side of the ring plane.
Such a vantage point gives a
breathtaking views of the most
splendid ring system in the Solar System.
Strangely, the rings have similarities to a
photographic negative of a front view.
For example, the dark band in the middle is actually the
normally bright B-ring.
The ring brightness as recorded from different angles
indicates ring thickness and particle density of ring particles.
At the top left of the frame is Saturn's moon
Tethys, which although harder to find, contains much more mass than the
entire ring system.
Cassini Imaging Team,