CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
The Beauty of Night

The Beauty of Night
PIA 08270

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  Saturn's shadow cuts sharply across the rings in this remarkable night side view.

The planet's northern latitudes are in darkness in the upper portion of this scene, while the southern reaches are bathed in ringshine. The overexposed, sunlit crescent at lower left marks the transition from Saturnian day to night.

Mimas (396 kilometers, 246 miles across) hovers below center -- a tiny bauble ornamenting the ringed giant.

The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Aug. 19, 2006 at a distance of approximately 1.5 million kilometers (1 million miles) from Mimas and 1.7 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 92 kilometers (57 miles) per pixel on Mimas and 103 kilometers (64 miles) 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: September 19, 2006 (PIA 08270)
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