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Shadows cast by Saturn's rings darken the southern hemisphere of the planet and give a truncated appearance to the bottom of this Cassini image.
Saturn's moon Tethys (1062 kilometers, 660 miles across) is part of this scene on the right. The smaller moon Epimetheus (113 kilometers, 70 miles across) completes this composition and can be seen below the center of the image.
This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane. Lit terrain seen on Tethys is on the area between the trailing hemisphere and anti-Saturn side of the moon.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on March 8, 2011 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of visible red light centered at 619 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 3.2 million kilometers (2 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 87 degrees. Scale on Saturn is 19 kilometers (12 miles) per pixel.
The Cassini Solstice 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.