May 21, 2012
Even in a peaceful looking scene such as this one of Saturn and its moon Tethys, the Cassini spacecraft reveals clues about how Saturn is ever-changing.
Saturn's northern hemisphere still shows the scars of the huge storm that raged through much of 2011 (see Chronicling Saturn's Northern Storm). And, day by day, the shadows cast by the rings on the planet's southern hemisphere are growing wider as the seasons progress toward northern summer. See The Rite of Spring and Sliding Shadows to learn about the changing seasons and the shadows cast by the rings.
Tethys (660 miles, or 1,062 kilometers across) appears above the rings to the left of the center of the image.
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 in Washington. 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-Caltech/Space Science Institute