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The thin shadow of the moon Pandora cuts across Saturn's narrow F ring.
As Saturn approaches its August 2009 equinox, the planet's moons cast shadows onto the rings. To learn more about this special time and to see a movie of a moon's shadow moving across the rings, see PIA11651. Pandora (81 kilometers, 50 miles across) is on the left of the image. Other bright points of light in the image are background stars.
This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 55 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 16, 2009. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.3 million kilometers (808,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 98 degrees. Image scale is 8 kilometers (5 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.