CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Near the Ringplane

Near the Ringplane
PIA 06650

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  From just beneath the ringplane, Saturn's rings take on a strange and unfamiliar appearance, as battered Mimas (396 kilometers, 246 miles across) looks on. Part of Saturn's immense shadow makes a dark, fingerlike projection into the rings here.

North on Mimas is up and to the left. This view shows principally the Saturn-facing hemisphere on Mimas.

The image was taken in polarized green light with the narrow angle camera on March 7, 2005 from a distance of approximately 1.5 million kilometers (900,000 miles) from Mimas and at a Sun-Mimas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 30 degrees. Resolution in the image is 9 kilometers (6 miles) per pixel.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. 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-Huygens mission, visit and the Cassini imaging team home page,

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: May 17, 2005 (PIA 06650)
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