With Saturn sheltering the spacecraft Cassini from the sun's blinding glare, the probe's camera captured the rings as never before, and even a glimpse of Earth (inset). ((NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute) )

An image that reveals new details of the planet Saturn is also the second photo of Earth ever taken from the outer reaches of the solar system.

The photo from the Cassini probe, released Thursday by NASA, captures Earth as a faint pinprick of light visible between Saturn's rings.

The first distant image of the Earth was taken by the Voyager probe in 1990.

Cassini's image of Saturn was created by combining 165 images taken by the probe's wide-angle camera over nearly three hours on Sept. 15.

Colour in the image was added by digitally compositing ultraviolet, infrared and clear filter images, which were adjusted to resemble natural colour.

Sitting in the darkness of Saturn's shadow, the probe was able to capture details of the rings that had never been seen before, revealing previously unknown and extremely faint rings composed of microscopic particles.