Across the Dark Ringplane
The Cassini spacecraft skims past Saturn's ringplane at a low angle, spotting two ring moons on the far side.
Pan (26 kilometers, or 16 miles across) sits within the Encke Gap right of center. Beyond the F ring hovers Pandora (84 kilometers, or 52 miles across).
This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from less than a degree above the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 14, 2007 at a distance of approximately 1.6 million kilometers (1 million miles) from Saturn. Image scale is about 10 kilometers (6 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, 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