Saturn Rings Rainbow

The opposition effect, a brightness surge that is visible on Saturn's rings when the sun is directly behind the spacecraft, is captured here as a colorful halo of light moving across Saturn's sunlit rings.


The rainbow of color seen here is actually an artifact and a by-product of the spot's movement and the way the color image was produced. Cassini acquires color images by taking sequential exposures using red, green and blue spectral filters, which are then composited together to form a color view. The bright patch traveled across the rings between exposures taken for this view, creating a series of three colorful spots showing its position at three separate moments.