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The “opposition effect” can be seen in this image of Saturn's B ring. The bright spot occurs where the angle between the Sun, the rings and the spacecraft is near zero. Studies of the opposition effect on Saturn’s rings may help scientists to constrain some of the properties of ring particles, such as their sizes and spatial distribution.
Another recently released image from Cassini also shows this interesting effect of viewing geometry (see PIA07543).
The image was taken in visible light with the wide angle camera on June 26, 2005, from a distance of approximately 478,000 kilometers (297,000 miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 3 kilometers (2 miles) per pixel.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The imaging team consists of scientists from the US, England, France, and Germany. The imaging operations center and team lead (Dr. C. Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.