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Epimetheus floats above Saturn’s swirling skies.
Beyond Epimetheus (116 kilometers, or 72 miles across), the narrow F ring appears dark from this vantage point, against the much brighter planet. The three largest gaps in the rings – the Keeler and Encke Gaps and the Cassini Division – appear as bright regions in the darkened ringplane.
This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 7 degrees above the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 1, 2007 at a distance of approximately 1.9 million kilometers (1.2 million miles) from Epimetheus. Image scale is 12 kilometers (7 miles) per pixel.
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