CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Splinters of Rings

Splinters of Rings
PIA 12514

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  Saturn's shadow interrupts the planet's rings leaving just thin slivers of the rings visible in this image which shows a pair of the planet's small moons.

This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane. Most of the main rings are darkened by the shadow of the planet, but the thin F ring can be seen extending across more of the image. Helene (33 kilometers, 21 miles across) is in the center top of the image. Epimetheus (113 kilometers, 70 miles across) is in the lower right.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Nov. 7, 2009. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 2.6 million kilometers (1.6 million miles) from Helene. Image scale is 15 kilometers (10 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: December 28, 2009 (PIA 12514)
Image/Caption Information