CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

A Shadowy Figure
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A Shadowy Figure
PIA 07592

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  The "flying saucer" in this image is the small moon Atlas (30 kilometers, 19 miles across), whose shadowy profile reveals its flattened shape. This image looks down onto the outer A ring, and through the Encke and Keeler gaps.

Two distinct, thin strands in the F ring are visible here, silhouetted against the planet. Saturn's extended, high-altitude haze is seen near lower right.

The image was taken in visible green light with the narrow angle camera on August 2, 2005, from a distance of approximately 489,000 kilometers (304,000 miles) from Atlas and at a Sun-Atlas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 138 degrees. The image scale is 3 kilometers (2 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.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit and the Cassini imaging team home page,

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: September 22, 2005 (PIA 07592)
Image/Caption Information

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