CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Nightside Vista

Graceful giant Saturn poses with a few of the small worlds it holds close. From this viewpoint Cassini can see across the entirety of the planet's shadow on the rings, to where the ringplane emerges once again into sunlight.

Tethys (1,062 kilometers, 660 miles across) shines large and bright near the bottom of the scene. Pandora (81 kilometers, 50 miles across) sits outside the F ring, below center. Epimetheus (113 kilometers, 70 miles across) is a speck on the far side of the ringplane, immediately to the right of Saturn's limb. Most of the other bright specks near the rings are background stars.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 8 degrees above the ringplane. The image has been brightened to enhance the appearance of the small moons.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on June 2, 2007 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 918 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 2.2 million kilometers (1.4 million miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 131 kilometers (81 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 12, 2007 (PIA 08982)
Image/Caption Information
  Nightside Vista
PIA 08982

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Alliance Member Comments
Red_dragon (Jul 16, 2007 at 3:57 AM):
If that beauty is not one of those "Kodak moments" mentioned on this event report (, certainly deserves it.