Even in a peaceful looking scene such as this one of Saturn and its moon Tethys, Cassini reveals clues about how this world is ever-changing.
Saturn's northern hemisphere still shows the scars of the huge storm that raged through much of 2011 (see PIA14905). And, day by day, the shadows cast by the rings on the planet's southern hemisphere are growing wider as the seasons progress toward northern summer. See PIA11667 and PIA09793 to learn about the changing seasons and the shadows cast by the rings.
Tethys (660 miles, 1062 kilometers across) appears above the rings to the left of the center of the image.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Jan. 10, 2012 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.4 million miles (2.3 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 39 degrees. Image scale on Saturn is 84 miles (136 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.