December 28, 2004
Even from afar, Cassini's cameras reveal a tremendous amount of detail in the planet's rings. The punctuated detail in the C ring, the bright fine structure in the B ring, the dark bands within the Cassini Division, the bland nature of the outermost A ring, as well as knots in the twisted F ring, are all visible. The moon Tethys (1,060 kilometers, or 659 miles, across) hovers beyond the rings at the top.
This image was taken from beneath the ring plane in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft wide angle camera on Nov. 1, 2004, at a distance of approximately 2.2 million kilometers (1.4 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 129 kilometers (80 miles) per pixel. This image has been slightly contrast-enhanced to aid visibility.
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 team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute