CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Ring Shapers
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Ring Shapers
PIA 10523

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  Two moons that have profound impacts on the rings, Mimas and Prometheus, are seen here with the F ring. Mimas, the larger and much more distant of the moons, maintains the sharp outer edge of the B ring. Prometheus, although much smaller than Mimas, is half of a duo responsible for maintaining the narrow F ring.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Oct. 20, 2008 at a distance of approximately 1.052 million kilometers (654,000 miles) from Mimas and at a Sun-Mimas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 29 degrees. Image scale is 6 kilometers (4 miles) per pixel.

The Cassini Equinox Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. 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 Equinox Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: November 28, 2008 (PIA 10523)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
Red_dragon (Nov 29, 2008 at 11:35 AM):
Here's another cool example of perspective at work; Mimas' orbit has a very little inclination over Saturn's equator (and beyond the F-ring) but in this one that seems not to occur:

I really like those images taken with the NAC. No matter most of them are B-W; the way it toys with the perspective more than compensates that. Just remember those images of moon conjunctions taken roughly three years ago, when Caasini's orbit was quite close to Saturn's equator. Hope to see more of them!.
NeKto (Nov 29, 2008 at 8:23 AM):
the mind's eye can certainly see many perspectives in many of these images. for a moment i saw Mimas as if it were just inside the F ring. obviously imposible. i am very intrigued by the image of the rings at this phase angle, espesially with the two moons brightly lit in the forground. i have been wondering how "dark" the unlit side of the rings would look in comparison to something brightly iluminated.
love this image!
Red_dragon (Nov 28, 2008 at 10:40 AM):
Yet even another dramatic image from Cassini's NAC. It looks as Mimas and Prometheus were over the rings and at the same distance.

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