CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Only Half the Rings

Saturn's moon Janus orbit's in front of the rings which are partially darkened by the shadow of the planet in this Cassini view.

That Saturn's shadow obscures about half the rings is most obvious on the left of the image, where a dark ring feature seems to stop abruptly as it meets the darkness of the planet's shadow above the edge of the bright rings.

This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane, and toward the leading hemisphere of Janus (179 kilometers, 111 miles across). North on Janus is up. Janus is closer to Cassini than the rings are.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 10, 2010. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.4 million kilometers (870,000 miles) from Janus and at a Sun-Janus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 65 degrees. Image scale is 8 kilometers (5 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: July 20, 2010 (PIA 12680)
Image/Caption Information
  Only Half the Rings
PIA 12680

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