Astronomy Picture of the Week – The Rings of Saturn

This picture of Saturn’s rings in its natural colors has been taken by the Cassini probe from an angle impossible to get from Earth. We can see a huge gap in Saturn’s rings. This is caused by the planet obscuring the Sun’s light. Since the rings do not emit light on their own, a lack of sunlight would mean no reflected light, and thus they would remain dark. The rings are also projecting a shade on the planet near the equator for similar reasons, except here the roles are reversed.

Saturn Rings by Cassini
Saturn’s Rings by Cassini. Image credits: NASA/ESA