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Like a silvery pearl, an icy moon crosses the face of Saturn, while two of its siblings cast shadows onto the planet.
Rhea (1,528 kilometers, or 949 miles across) hangs in the foreground. Near upper left on Saturn is the small shadow of Mimas. Near lower right is the penumbral shadow of Iapetus – the part of the moon’s shadow where Iapetus does not completely block the sun.
This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from less than a degree above the ringplane. The rings’ shadows drape across the northern hemisphere.
Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. The images were obtained with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on June 15, 2007, at a distance of approximately 1.2 million kilometers (744,000 miles) from Rhea and 1.7 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 71 kilometers (44 miles) per pixel on Rhea and 103 kilometers (64 miles) on Saturn.
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.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute