CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Candle in the Dark
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Candle in the Dark
PIA 08235

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  Saturn's rings cut across an eerie scene that is ruled by Titan's luminous crescent and globe-encircling haze, broken by the small moon Enceladus whose icy jets are dimly visible at its south pole. North is up.

The scattered light around planet-sized Titan (5,150 kilometers, 3,200 miles across) makes the moon's solid surface visible in silhouette. Enceladus (504 kilometers, 313 miles across) enjoys far clearer skies than its giant sibling moon.

This view shows the unlit side of Saturn's rings.

The image was taken in visible red light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 10, 2006 at a distance of approximately 3.9 million kilometers (2.4 million miles) from Enceladus and 5.3 million kilometers (3.3 million miles) from Titan. The view was obtained at a Sun-moon-spacecraft, or phase, angle of about 160 degrees relative to both moons. Image scale is 23 kilometers (15 miles) per pixel on Enceladus and 32 kilometers (20 miles) on Titan.

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: August 3, 2006 (PIA 08235)
Image/Caption Information

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