CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
The Giant's Shadow

The Giant's Shadow
PIA 06573

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  Now, in southern summer, Saturn's shadow stretches across the sunlit southern surface of its rings. The moon Janus (179 kilometers, 111 miles across) orbits just outside of the main rings and appears below them in this scene. Janus is absolutely dwarfed by the bulk of its gigantic parent.

Bands of ring material within the Cassini Division are visible here, near the outer edge of the bright B ring. The planet's night side is visible at right. This view is from Cassini's vantage point beneath the ring plane.

The image was taken in visible light with the wide angle camera on January 17, 2005, from a distance of approximately 1.2 million kilometers (746,000 miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 66 kilometers (41 miles) per pixel. Janus was brightened by a factor of two and contrast in the scene was enhanced 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.

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

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: January 28, 2005 (PIA 06573)
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