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Saturn's moon Tethys orbits in front of the wide shadows cast by the rings onto the planet for this Cassini view.
Tethys (660 miles, 1062 kilometers across) appears just below the rings near the center of the image. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from less than one degree above the ring plane.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Dec. 7, 2011 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers) from Tethys. Image scale is 66 miles (107 kilometers) per pixel on Tethys.
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.