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Shadows cast by Saturn’s rings darken the southern hemisphere of the planet and give a truncated appearance to the bottom of this Cassini spacecraft image.
Saturn’s moon Tethys (1,062 kilometers, or 660 miles across) is part of this scene on the right. The smaller moon Epimetheus (113 kilometers, or 70 miles across) completes this composition and can be seen below the center of the image.
This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane. Lit terrain seen on Tethys is on the area between the trailing hemisphere and anti-Saturn side of the moon.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on March 8, 2011 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of visible red light centered at 619 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 3.2 million kilometers (2 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 87 degrees. Scale on Saturn is 19 kilometers (12 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
Image Addition Date: 2011-04-25