Icy sentinels stand guard on Saturn's doorstep, defying the distant Sun.
Tethys (1,062 kilometers, 660 miles across) is seen here at left, along with Enceladus (504 kilometers, 313 miles across), against the planet. At the distance of Saturn, the Sun's light is only about one-hundredth of its intensity at Earth, making this a dim and cold domain.
This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 5 degrees below the ringplane.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Sept. 20, 2007 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 3.3 million kilometers (2 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 52 degrees. Image scale is 193 kilometers (120 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.