CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

From the Dark Side
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From the Dark Side
PIA 06529

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  As Cassini swung around to the dark side of the planet during its first close passage after orbit insertion, the intrepid spacecraft spied three ring moons whizzing around the planet.

Visible in this image are: Mimas (396 kilometers, 246 miles across) brightest and above center, Janus (179 kilometers, 111 miles across) second brightest at upper right, and Prometheus (86 kilometers, 53 miles across) just above the main rings at upper right.

The normally bright B ring appears very dark from this vantage point. Regions with smaller concentrations of particles, such as the Cassini division (bright near center) transmit more sunlight and thus are brighter.

The image was taken in visible light with the wide angle camera on October 27, 2004, from a distance of 757,000 kilometers (470,000miles) from Saturn. The image scale is about 42 kilometers (26 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: December 10, 2004 (PIA 06529)
Image/Caption Information

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