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In the distance beyond Saturn’s icy rings, the Cassini spacecraft glimpses faint details on the surface of Titan. In the foreground, the B ring displays several dark spokes.
This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 5 degrees below the ringplane.
Titan is 5,150 kilometers (3,200 miles) across.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on July 23, 2008 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 853 nanometers. Light at these wavelengths is able to reach the surface and escape back into space without being completely scattered by Titan’s hazy atmosphere.
The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.1 million kilometers (698,000 miles) from Saturn and 2.4 million kilometers (1.5 million miles) from Titan. Image scale on the rings (in the radial, or outward from Saturn, direction) is 67 kilometers (39 miles) per pixel. Image scale is 142 kilometers (88 miles) per pixel on Titan.
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