Cassini gazes across the icy rings of Saturn toward the icy moon Tethys, whose night side is illuminated by Saturnshine, or sunlight reflected by the planet.
Tethys was on the far side of Saturn with respect to Cassini here; an observer looking upward from the moon’s surface toward Cassini would see Saturn’s illuminated disk filling the sky.
Tethys was brightened by a factor of two in this image to increase its visibility. A sliver of the moon’s sunlit northern hemisphere is seen at top. A bright wedge of Saturn’s sunlit side is seen at lower left.
This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 10 degrees above the ring plane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on May 13, 2017.
The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 750,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 140 degrees. Image scale is 43 miles (70 kilometers) per pixel on Saturn. The distance to Tethys was about 930,000 miles (1.5 million kilometers). The image scale on Tethys is about 56 miles (90 kilometers) per pixel.
The Cassini mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (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 mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute