CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Vast Saturn

The immense size of Saturn is emphasized in this Cassini portrait that features the moon Mimas shown in front of the planet.

Mimas (396 kilometers, 246 miles across) appears as only a small dot above the rings near the center of the image. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from about 1 degree above the ringplane.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Oct. 17, 2009 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.7 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 87 degrees. Image scale is 99 kilometers (62 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: August 18, 2010 (PIA 12701)
Image/Caption Information
  Vast Saturn
PIA 12701

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