PIA06573: The Giant's Shadow

The Giant’s Shadow


Now, in southern summer, Saturn's shadow stretches across the sunlit southern surface of its rings. Saturn's moon Janus orbits just outside of the main rings and appears below them in this scene. Janus is absolutely dwarfed by the bulk of its gigantic parent. Janus is 181 kilometers (113 miles) across.

Bands of ring material within the Cassini Division are visible here, near the outer edge of the bright B ring. The planet's night side is visible at the right. This view is from Cassini's vantage point beneath the ring plane.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide angle camera on Jan. 17, 2005, at a distance of approximately 1.2 million kilometers (746,000 miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 66 kilometers (41 miles) per pixel. Janus was brightened by a factor of two, and contrast in the scene was enhanced to aid visibility.

Background Info:

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.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov . For images visit the Cassini imaging team home page http://ciclops.org .

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Saturn B Ring, Cassini Division, Janus, Saturn Rings
System Saturn
Target Type Planet Gap, Ring, Satellite
Mission Cassini-Huygens
Instrument Host Cassini Orbiter
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)
Detector Wide Angle Camera
Extra Keywords Grayscale, Shadow, Visual
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2005-01-28
Date in Caption 2005-01-17
Image Credit NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA06573
Identifier PIA06573