Halfway to Southern Winter
July 15, 2013
The shadows of Saturn's rings edge ever farther southward as Saturn creeps towards southern winter (or northern summer). Saturn is now almost exactly halfway between its equinox (August 2009) and southern winter solstice (in May 2017).
At equinox, the rings' shadows appeared as a thin line at Saturn's equator. See The Rite of Spring.
This view is centered on an area at 22 degrees south latitude on Saturn. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on May 6, 2013 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers.
The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 813,000 miles (1.3 million kilometers) from Saturn. Image scale is 48 miles (78 kilometers) 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 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