This dazzling view looks beyond gigantic storms near Saturn's south pole to the small but clear disc of Tethys (1,060 kilometers, or 659 miles, across). Clouds and ribbons of gas swirl about in the planet's atmosphere in the foreground, while a tremendous chasm is visible on the icy moon.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera on Oct. 18, 2004, at a distance of 3.9 million kilometers (2.4 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 61 degrees. The view is in wavelengths of visible red light centered at 619 nanometers. The image scale is 23 kilometers (14 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 Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.
For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and the Cassini imaging team home page, http://ciclops.org .
NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute