CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
A Complex Crescent

A Complex Crescent
PIA 08159

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  The tilted crescent of Saturn displays lacy cloud bands here along with a bright equatorial region and threadlike ring shadows on the northern hemisphere.

Three moons are visible here: Mimas (396 kilometers, 246 miles across) at left and faint, is aligned with the ringplane; at right are Rhea (1,528 kilometers, 949 miles across, at top) and Tethys (1,062 kilometers, 660 miles across, below Rhea).

The image was taken in polarized infrared light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on March 11, 2006, at a distance of approximately 2.8 million kilometers (1.8 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 166 kilometers (103 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: April 18, 2006 (PIA 08159)
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