PIA12592: Widening Rings


Widening Rings

Caption:

Saturn's rings and its moon Rhea are imaged before a crescent of the planet. The shadows of the rings continue to grow wider after their disappearing act during the planet's August 2009 equinox.

See PIA11667 for a view of Saturn with only a pencil-thin ring shadow. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane.

Rhea (1,528 kilometers, or 949 miles across) is near the center of the image.

The image was taken in visible red light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Dec. 6, 2009. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.9 million kilometers (1.2 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 128 degrees. Image scale is 112 kilometers (70 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 operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Rhea Saturn, Saturn Rings, Sun
System Saturn
Target Type Satellite Planet, Ring, Sun
Mission Cassini-Huygens
Instrument Host Cassini Orbiter
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)
Detector Wide Angle Camera
Extra Keywords Grayscale, Shadow
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2010-03-18
Date in Caption 2009-12-06
Image Credit NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA12592
Identifier PIA12592