Saturn's Rings from the Other Side
What do Saturn's rings look like from the other side? From Earth, we usually see
Saturn's rings from the same side of the ring plane that the Sun illuminates them.
Geometrically, in the above picture taken in April by the robot Cassini spacecraft
now orbiting Saturn, the Sun is behind the camera but on the other side of the ring
plane. This vantage point, specifically 17 degrees above the ring plane, 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. The ring
brightness as recorded from different angles indicates ring thickness and particle
density of ring particles. Elsewhere, ring shadows can be seen on the sunlit face
of Saturn, shown sporting numerous cloud structures in nearly true color.