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The dramatic plane of Saturn’s rings is indeed a huge expanse. Gazing straight across the vertical center of this view, the Cassini spacecraft takes in more than 200,000 kilometers (124,000 miles) from one side of the rings to the other.
Atlas (32 kilometers, or 20 miles across) is gliding past below center.
This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 2 degrees above the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 24, 2007 at a distance of approximately 1.7 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Atlas. Image scale is 10 kilometers (6 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