PIA14576: Widening Southern Shadows


Widening Southern Shadows

Caption:

The Cassini spacecraft watches as the shadows of Saturn's rings grow wider and creep farther south as the seasons progress from the planet's August 2009 equinox.

See PIA11667 to learn more about the changing seasons and to see a view from equinox when the rings cast only a thin shadow on Saturn's equator. See PIA09793 for an even earlier view of the rings' wide shadows draped high on the northern hemisphere.

This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Aug. 22, 2011 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 939 nanometers. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 252,000 miles (405,000 kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 140 degrees. Image scale is 13 miles (21 kilometers) 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 Saturn Rings Saturn, Sun
System Saturn
Target Type Ring Planet, Sun
Mission Cassini-Huygens
Instrument Host Cassini Orbiter
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)
Detector Wide Angle Camera
Extra Keywords Grayscale, Infrared, Shadow, Wave
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2011-10-03
Date in Caption 2011-08-22
Image Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA14576
Identifier PIA14576