Swirling cloud bands, delicate ring shadows and icy moons make the Saturn system a place of supreme natural beauty. Even Cassini's remarkable images can only provide the slightest sense of the experience of actually being there.
Tethys (at right, 1,062 kilometers, 660 miles across) and Mimas (near center, 396 kilometers, 246 miles across) are captured here against the planet's turbulent atmosphere.
Although the rings are only a thin strip from this angle, one can see the structure of the entire main ring system in its shadow on the planet - from the C ring at bottom to the faint specter of the F ring a top.
The image was taken in visible violet light with the wide angle camera on July 16, 2005, from a distance of approximately 1.2 million kilometers (700,000 miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 66 kilometers (41 miles) per pixel.
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.