CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
A Wisp of Smoke

A Wisp of Smoke
PIA 09806

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  Cassini peers through the fine, smoke-sized ice particles of Saturn's F ring toward the cratered face of Mimas. The F ring's core is dense enough to completely block the light from Mimas.

The view looks toward the trailing hemisphere on the Saturn-facing side of Mimas (396 kilometers, 246 miles across), and toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 2 degrees below the ringplane.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Nov. 18, 2007. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 772,000 kilometers (480,000 miles) from Mimas. Image scale is 5 kilometers (3 miles) per pixel on the moon.

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 2, 2009 (PIA 09806)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
mickie37 (Jan 5, 2008 at 0:41 AM):
Why cute, Red Dragon, how about acute. Stunning to me.
Red_dragon (Jan 4, 2008 at 12:03 PM):
Smoke on the rings and ice in the sky :)

Cute image as usual, especially thanks to the perspective given by the NAC. Happy 2008 for CICLOPS and all the CICLOPS Alliance!