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Cassini sighted far-off icy Tethys (1,062 kilometers, 660 miles across) as it headed back toward Saturn in its long, looping first orbit of the planet. A faint hint of detail on the moon's cratered surface is visible here. Tethys was discovered by Giovanni Cassini, for whom the spacecraft was named.
The image was taken in visible light with the narrow angle camera on September 9, 2004, from a distance of 8.8 million kilometers (5.5 million miles) from Tethys and at a Sun-Tethys-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 81 degrees. The image scale is 53 kilometers (33 miles) per pixel. The image was magnified by a factor of four and contrast enhanced to aid visibility.
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 Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The imaging team consists of scientists from the US, England, France, and Germany. The imaging operations center and team lead (Dr. C. Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.