This captivating natural color view was created from images collected shortly after Cassini began its extended Equinox Mission in July 2008. The mosaic combines 30 images--10 each of red, green and blue light—taken over the course of approximately two hours as Cassini panned its wide-angle camera across the entire planet and ring system on July 23, 2008, from a southerly elevation of 6 degrees. Cassini captured these images at a distance of approximately 690,000 miles (1.1 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 20 degrees. Cassini has been orbiting Saturn for five Earth years as of June 30, 2009. That's about one sixth of a Saturnian year, enough time for the spacecraft to have observed seasonal changes in the planet, its moons and sunlight's angle on the dramatic rings.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute,