The European Space Agency posted this image on its Flickr page this week (May 5, 2014). It shows a section of Saturn’s beautiful rings, first observed in the year 1610 by early telescopes … and more recently observed close-up by the Cassini spacecraft, which has been orbiting Saturn, weaving in and among its moons, since 2004.
This image shows a portion of Saturn C-ring. The image is closest to Saturn on the left, with the B-ring beginning just right of center.
The variation in the color of the rings arises from the differences in their composition. Turquoise-hued rings contain particles of nearly pure water ice, while reddish rings contain ice particles with more contaminants.
Via Jennifer Welch (@MicrobeLover on Twitter)
Bottom line: The Cassini spacecraft captured this image of multiple colors within the rings of Saturn. Turquoise-hued rings of Saturn contain particles of nearly pure water ice, while reddish rings contain ice particles with more contaminants.