This Cassini image holds an unseen treasure orbiting within the bright arc of Saturn's G ring: the tiny moonlet Aegaeon.
The moonlet itself is too small to be seen within the arc pictured here. See PIA11148 to learn more about tiny Aegaeon (formerly known as S/2008 S 1). This view looks toward the southern, unilluminated side of the rings from about 4 degrees below the ringplane. Many background stars are visible elongated by the motion of the spacecraft during the image's exposure.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Jan. 24, 2010. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.7 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 10 kilometers (6 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.