A rather unique view of the shadow of the moon Mimas is shown — the moon's shadow extends elegantly across Saturn's A and F rings.
As Saturn approaches its August 2009 equinox, the planet's moons cast shadows onto the rings. Two background stars are visible in the image. Mimas is not shown. This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 62 degrees below the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 7, 2009. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.1 million kilometers (684,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 101 degrees. Image 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 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, Colorado.
(Image credits: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)