January 18, 2008
A small moon clings to the edge of Saturn's A ring. External to the moon is the thin and contorted F ring.
The flattened shape of Atlas (32 kilometers, or 20 miles across) is just discernible. See Saturn's Saucer Moons for higher resolution views of Atlas.
This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 9 degrees above the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Dec. 8, 2007. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 2.1 million kilometers (1.3 million miles) from Atlas. Image scale is 13 kilometers (8 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