CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Dot Against the Dark
[For trouble viewing the images/movies on this page, go here]
Dot Against the Dark
PIA 18282

Avg Rating: 9.46/10

Full Size 1020x1020:
PNG 489 KB
  As if trying to get our attention, Mimas is positioned against the shadow of Saturn's rings, bright on dark. As we near summer in Saturn's northern hemisphere, the rings cast ever larger shadows on the planet.

With a reflectivity of about 96%, Mimas (246 miles, or 396 kilometers across) appears bright against the less-reflective Saturn.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 10 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on July 13, 2014 using a spectral filter which preferentially admits wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers) from Saturn and approximaty 1 million miles (1.6 million kilometers) from Mimas. Image scale is 67 miles (108 kilometers) per pixel at Saturn and 60 miles (97 kilometers) per pixel at Mimas.

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.

For more information about the Cassini Solstice Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Released: September 2, 2014 (PIA 18282)
Image/Caption Information

Want to add a comment?   Login (for Alliance Members) ... or ... Join the CICLOPS Alliance!