CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

A Smudge of a Shadow
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The shadow of the moon Mimas creates a smudge on the southern hemisphere of Saturn in this view from Cassini.

Mimas does not appear here, but it does cast its shadow on the planet in the lower left of the image. The shadows cast by the rings dominate the upper right of the image. This view looks toward the southern, unilluminated side of the rings from about 1 degree below the ringplane.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Jan. 21, 2012 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 750 nanometers. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.6 million miles (2.6 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 70 degrees. Image scale is 9 miles (15 kilometers) per pixel.

The Cassini Solstice Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. 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 was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. 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.

For more information about the Cassini Solstice Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Released: April 9, 2012 (PIA 14603)
Image/Caption Information
  A Smudge of a Shadow
PIA 14603

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Alliance Member Comments
sunwell (Apr 15, 2012 at 8:13 AM):
I'm very excited to here.

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