CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Sideways Shadow

Sideways Shadow
PIA 06628

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  Bright Enceladus (504 kilometers, 313 miles across) hovers here, in front of a ringscape darkened by Saturn's shadow.

This view is from less than one degree beneath the ring plane. If seen from directly beneath the rings, the planet's giant shadow would appear as an elongated half-ellipse; the acute viewing angle makes the shadow look more like a strip here. (See PIA06193, "The Greatest Saturn Portrait… Yet", for a different viewing angle.) The dark shadow first takes a bite out of the rings at right, where the distant, outermost ring material appears to taper and fade.

Ring features visible in this image include, from the outer ring edge inward, the A ring, the Cassini Division and the B ring. The C ring is the darker region that dominates the rings here. The two gaps visible near center and below left of center are the Titan Gap, about 77,800 kilometers (48,300 miles) from Saturn, and an unnamed gap at about 75,800 kilometers (47,100 miles) from the planet.

The image was taken in visible light with the narrow angle camera on March 7, 2005 from a distance of approximately 1.1 million kilometers (650,000 miles) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 30 degrees. The pixel scale is 6 kilometers (4 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: April 15, 2005 (PIA 06628)
Image/Caption Information