Cassini has Mimas (397 kilometers, or 247 miles across, at bottom) and Pandora (84 kilometers, or 52 miles across, at center left) on its side as it gazes across the ringplane at distant Tethys (1,071 kilometers, or 665 miles across, at top). The two smaller moons were on the side of the rings closer to Cassini when this image was taken. Little structure is visible on the moons, aside from a stippling of craters.
Two dark notches in the rings at right are the Encke and Keeler gaps. The thin, bright arc of the F ring extends toward far right.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on November 17, 2005, at a distance of approximately 3.1 million kilometers (2 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 20 kilometers (12 miles) per pixel on Tethys and 18 kilometers (11 miles) per pixel Mimas.
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://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute