Navigating the Blackness
June 29, 2009
Saturn's moon Atlas plies the Roche Division between the A ring and the thin F ring.
Atlas (30 kilometers, or 19 miles across) is near the center of the image. Bright specks in the image are background stars.
This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 61 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 30, 2009. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.4 million kilometers (870,000 miles) from Atlas and at a Sun-Atlas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 74 degrees. Image scale 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 operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute