Near the Ringplane
May 17, 2005
From just beneath the ringplane, Saturn's rings take on a strange and unfamiliar appearance, as Saturn's battered moon Mimas looks on. Part of Saturn's immense shadow makes a dark, fingerlike projection into the rings, as seen here. Mimas is 397 kilometers (247 miles) across.
North on Mimas is up and to the left. This view shows principally the Saturn-facing hemisphere on Mimas.
The image was taken in polarized green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on March 7, 2005, at a distance of approximately 1.5 million kilometers (900,000 miles) from Mimas and at a Sun-Mimas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 30 degrees. Resolution in the image is 9 kilometers (6 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 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.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute