This is Saturn, as seen by the Very Large Array (VLA). Note the bright disk of the planet with a gradual fading toward the edge, called limb darkening. This illustrates a gradual cooling outward in Saturn’s atmosphere. The rings are seen in emission outside the disk but then in front of the planet they absorb the radiation from the bright disk behind, appearing as a dark band. In visual light they appear bright everywhere because they reflect the incident sunlight but at radio wavelengths the sunlight is fainter and we see the actual emission from Saturn.
Credit: I. de Pater, J.R. Dickel; NRAO/AUI/NSF
Technical Details Telescope: VLA Band: U Date: 1982-01-25