CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Land of Darkness

The narrow and twisted F ring lights up this scene which features Mimas against the unlit side of Saturn's ringplane. The F ring contains a great deal of fine, icy particles that are quite effective at scattering sunlight at high phase angles.

Mimas (396 kilometers, 246 miles across) is seen as a mere crescent in the center of this haunting view.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 13, 2006 at a distance of approximately 3.9 million kilometers (2.4 million miles) from Mimas and at a Sun-Mimas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 156 degrees. Image scale is 23 kilometers (15 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: July 18, 2006 (PIA 08223)
Image/Caption Information
  Land of Darkness
PIA 08223

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