CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Enormous Elongated Shadow
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Enormous Elongated Shadow
PIA 11648

Avg Rating: 9.48/10

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  The shadow of Saturn's largest moon darkens a huge portion of the gas giant planet.

Titan (5150 kilometers, 3200 miles across) is not pictured here, but its shadow is elongated in the bottom right of the image. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Nov. 7, 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 2.1 million kilometers (1.3 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 95 degrees. Image scale is 123 kilometers (76 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: December 18, 2009 (PIA 11648)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
Red_dragon (Dec 18, 2009 at 4:29 PM):
This is what I've been waiting for since the start of the Equinox mission. Well done; impressive image, although a full-phase Saturn would have make it even more spectacular.

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