Before Wide Shadows
Saturn's moon Tethys orbits in front of the wide shadows cast by the rings onto the planet for this Cassini spacecraft view.
Tethys (660 miles, or 1,062 kilometers across) appears just below the rings near the center of the image. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from less than one degree above the ring plane.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Dec. 7, 2011 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers) from Tethys. Image scale is 66 miles (107 kilometers) per pixel on Tethys.
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 mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. 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, Colo.
For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://www.nasa.gov/cassini and http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute