CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Light from Many Paths

Light from Many Paths
PIA 08220

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  The unlit side of the rings glows with scattered sunlight as two moons circle giant Saturn. The light reaching Cassini in this view has traveled many paths before being captured.

At left, Mimas (396 kilometers, 246 miles across) presents its dark side. Enceladus (504 kilometers, 313 miles across), on the far side of the rings, is lit by planetshine, or reflected sunlight coming from Saturn. The planet, in turn, is faintly lit in the south by light reflecting off the rings.

Saturn's shadow darkens the rings, tapering off toward the left side of this view.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 11, 2006 at a distance of approximately 3.9 million kilometers (2.5 million miles) from Mimas, 4.3 million kilometers (2.7 million miles) from Enceladus and 4.1 million kilometers (2.6 million miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 25 kilometers (16 miles) per pixel on Saturn.

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.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit and the Cassini imaging team home page,

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: July 13, 2006 (PIA 08220)
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