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During equinox, the Sun is exactly above the equator and thus in the plane of the rings. At the time of this image, taken around the equinox in 2009 by the Cassini mission, illumination of the rings by sunlight reflected off the planet vastly outshines any little sunlight falling on the rings.

CREDIT: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.

Source:
http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA11667