CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Beyond Saturn's South

Looking up toward Saturn's southern hemisphere, Cassini pictures a pair of the planet's moons orbiting in the distance.

Tethys and Rhea orbit in the plane of the planet's rings, but from this vantage point they appear to be below the planet. Tethys (1062 kilometers, 660 miles across) is near the center of the image, and Rhea (1528 kilometers, 949 miles across) is in the lower right.

This view looks toward the southern, unilluminated side of the rings from about 12 degrees below the ringplane.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on June 29, 2010 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 728 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 2.1 million kilometers (1.3 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 100 degrees. Image scale is 124 kilometers (77 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 2, 2010 (PIA 12689)
Image/Caption Information
  Beyond Saturn's South
PIA 12689

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Alliance Member Comments
Red_dragon (Aug 3, 2010 at 11:08 AM):
Awesome. A full disk view would be a sight (and including the rings.., well).