Land of Darkness
July 18, 2006
The narrow and twisted F ring lights up this scene, which features Mimas against the unlit side of Saturn's ringplane. The F ring contains a great deal of fine, icy particles that are quite effective at scattering sunlight at high phase angles.
Mimas (397 kilometers, or 247 miles across) is seen as a mere crescent in the center of this haunting view.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 13, 2006 at a distance of approximately 3.9 million kilometers (2.4 million miles) from Mimas and at a Sun-Mimas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 156 degrees. Image scale is 23 kilometers (15 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 operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute