December 13, 2010
Shadows adorn Saturn in this Cassini spacecraft view, which also includes the moon Rhea.
Rhea (1,528 kilometers, 949 miles across) is shown orbiting between the planet and the spacecraft and appears above the rings on the left of the image. As Saturn's northern hemisphere experiences spring, the rings now cast a shadow onto the southern hemisphere. The moon Mimas casts a small shadow on the planet south of shadows cast by the rings. The larger, elongated shadow farther south is cast by the moon Dione. Mimas and Dione are not shown.
This view looks toward the southern, unilluminated side of the rings from about 1 degree below the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible red light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Oct. 22, 2010. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 2.4 million kilometers (1.5 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 84 degrees. Image scale is 141 kilometers (88 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