March 30, 2005
This sweeping view from Cassini gives a sense of the awesome scale of the planet's disk-like ring system, which stretches many thousands of kilometers into the distance. The shepherd moon Prometheus (102 kilometers, or 63 miles across) maintains a lonely sojourn with the thin, outer F ring.
A notable brightening of the F ring material is visible ahead of Prometheus in its orbit, near the right side of this image.
The view was obtained in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Feb. 18, 2005, at a distance of approximately 1 million kilometers (621,000 miles) from Prometheus and at a Sun-Prometheus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 105 degrees. The image scale is 6 kilometers (4 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 team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute