CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Bright Rings for Southern Skies

Bright Rings for Southern Skies
PIA 07624

Avg Rating: 9.71/10

Full Size 891x834:
PNG 156 KB
  In this view, Mimas (396 kilometers, 246 miles across) is a mere pinprick of light, while the nearly edge-on rings and the ghostly globe of Saturn steal the scene. Some of the light reflected from the rings bounces onto Saturn and faintly illuminates the planet's southern hemisphere. The strongly lit part of Saturn in the lower right is lit by direct sunlight. Northward of the equator, the planet is largely invisible.

The image was taken in visible light with the wide angle camera on September 11, 2005, from a distance of approximately 2.3 million kilometers (1.5 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale is about 140 kilometers (87 miles) per pixel.

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: November 4, 2005 (PIA 07624)
Image/Caption Information