CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Long Shadow of Tethys
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The shadow of the moon Tethys stretches across Saturn's A ring before fading into the B ring in the lower right of this image.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 27 degrees above the ringplane. The shadow appears truncated by the dense B ring. Tethys (1062 kilometers, or 660 miles, across) is not shown.

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 an earlier movie of a moon's shadow moving across the rings, see PIA 11651. To watch a movie of Tethys's shadow seen from a similar viewing geometry, see PIA11659.

This image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on May 20, 2009. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.4 million kilometers (870,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 128 degrees. Image scale is 82 kilometers (51 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: June 30, 2009 (PIA 11525)
Image/Caption Information
  Long Shadow of Tethys
PIA 11525

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