PIA07577: Tethys in the Dark

Tethys in the Dark


A close inspection of this image reveals that there is more of Saturn's moon Tethys here than is apparent at first glance. A slim crescent is all that is visible of the moon's sunlit side, but the left half of the image is dimly lit by "Saturnshine," or reflected light from the planet lying off to the left of Cassini's field of view. Tethys is 1,071 kilometers (665 miles) across.

On occasion, useful details about a moon's surface characteristics can be revealed under such dim illumination, as in PIA06168 .

This view shows principally the Saturn-facing hemisphere of Tethys; north is up. Craters along the terminator, the boundary between day and night, are Penelope (at the top) and Antinous (at the bottom).

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Aug. 3, 2005. The spacecraft was approximately 842,000 kilometers (523,000 miles) from Tethys. The image was taken with a filter sensitive to wavelengths of polarized ultraviolet light centered at 338 nanometers from Tethys and at a Sun-Tethys-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 144 degrees. Image scale is 5 kilometers (3 miles) per pixel.

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 additional images visit the Cassini imaging team homepage http://ciclops.org .

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Tethys Saturn, Sun
System Saturn
Target Type Satellite Planet, Sun
Mission Cassini-Huygens
Instrument Host Cassini Orbiter
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)
Detector Narrow Angle Camera
Extra Keywords Crater, Grayscale, Ultraviolet
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2005-09-01
Date in Caption 2005-08-03
Image Credit NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA07577
Identifier PIA07577