Saturn's moon Tethys casts a wide shadow over the planet's F and A rings.
Tethys itself is not visible in this image. As Saturn approaches its August 2009 equinox, the planet's moons cast shadows onto the rings. To learn more about this special time and to see a movie of a moon's shadow moving across the rings, see Moon Shadow in Motion.
This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 36 degrees below the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on April 21, 2009. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.1 million kilometers (684,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 142 degrees. Image scale is 63 kilometers (39 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