While studying Saturn's atmosphere, Cassini happens to catch a view of two small, icy satellites.
Mimas (396 kilometers, 246 miles across) drifts past on the far right of the image. Janus (179 kilometers, 111 miles across) appears as a black dot just below the rings near the center of the image.
This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from about 1 degree above the ringplane.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Oct. 15, 2009 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 975,000 kilometers (606,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 68 degrees. Image scale is 109 kilometers (68 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.