CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Twilight Realm
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Dark shadows are an ever-present part of Saturn's already twilit world, where the Sun's rays are a hundred times more feeble than at Earth.

Here, the rings cast their silhouette upon the planet, which reciprocates with its own shade upon the rings at upper right. The moon Tethys also casts a dark spot onto Saturn's clouds.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 21 degrees above the ringplane.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Feb. 25, 2008 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 728 nanometers. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.6 million kilometers (1 million miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 94 kilometers (58 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: April 1, 2008 (PIA 09870)
Image/Caption Information
  Twilight Realm
PIA 09870

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Alliance Member Comments
Red_dragon (Apr 5, 2008 at 5:11 AM):
Fantastic image; it's really beautiful the display of shadows that can be seen on the image.
Just imagine how beautiful would be see one image alike, but with Titan's shadow, i wonder if Titan's purplish outer atmosphere could be seen projected on Saturn's surface as a ring around the planet.