CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Cinching the Belt
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Cinching the Belt
PIA 12636

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  The shadow of Saturn's rings appear like a belt fastened around the brightly overexposed equatorial latitudes of the oblate planet.

The planet's C ring is visible on the left of the image. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from about 17 degrees above the ringplane.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Jan. 11, 2010. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 370,000 kilometers (230,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 28 degrees. Image scale is 19 kilometers (12 miles) per pixel.

The Cassini Equinox 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 Equinox Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: May 19, 2010 (PIA 12636)
Image/Caption Information