Saturn's complex rings are both an intriguing scientific puzzle and a supreme natural wonder. This view shows, from upper right to lower left, the thin C ring, multi-toned B ring, the dark Cassini Division, the A ring and narrow F ring.
At bottom, Mimas (396 kilometers, 246 miles across) orbits about 45,000 kilometers (28,000 miles) beyond the bright core of the F ring. The little moon is heavily cratered and is thought to be largely composed of water ice. The bright speck just outside of (below) the F ring is the shepherd moon Pandora (81 kilometers, 50 miles across).
The image was taken in visible light with the narrow angle camera on January 19, 2005, from a distance of 1.8 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 11 kilometers (7 miles) per pixel. Pandora was brightened by a factor of seven to aid visibility.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. 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.