CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Exposing a Shadow

The shadow of the moon Tethys is revealed on Saturn's B and C rings in this image which also includes the planet.

The planet is overexposed in this image in which the exposure time was set to capture the faint shadow on the rings. Tethys itself is not visible in this image. As Saturn approaches its August 2009 equinox, the planet's moons cast shadows onto the rings. To learn more about this special time and to see a movie of a moon's shadow moving across the rings, see PIA 11651.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 20 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on May 12, 2009. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.2 million kilometers (746,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 28 degrees. Image scale is 65 kilometers (41 miles) per pixel.

The Cassini Equinox Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. 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 Equinox Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: June 26, 2009 (PIA 11523)
Image/Caption Information
  Exposing a Shadow
PIA 11523

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Alliance Member Comments
20tauri (Jun 28, 2009 at 9:49 AM):
I love how the innermost rings seem to just
Red_dragon (Jun 27, 2009 at 4:19 AM):
Excelllent image, even being the planet overexposed. In my opinion, the best of these pictures is the way the shadows look as dark rips in the rings.

Waiting to see a transit of Titan's shadow over Saturn's disk :)
stowaway (Jun 26, 2009 at 3:55 PM):
you mean - (over)exposing a Shadow