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Two of Saturn’s moons make appearances in this view in very different ways.
Janus (181 kilometers, or 113 miles across) glides past at bottom, near the edge-on ringplane. Above are the arcing shadows cast onto the northern hemisphere by the rings, along with the shadow of Mimas (397 kilometers, or 247 miles across) against a backdrop of wispy clouds. Mimas’ shadow appears elliptical due to its projection onto the spheroidal shape of Saturn’s visible atmosphere.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Aug. 5, 2007 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 750 nanometers. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 4 million kilometers (2.5 million miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 47 kilometers (29 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