The Cassini spacecraft watches Saturn's small moon Epimetheus orbiting beyond the planet's rings.
See Epimetheus Revealed and Epimetheus: Up-Close and Colorful for closer views of this moon. Epimetheus (70 miles, or 113 kilometers across) orbits beyond the thin F ring near the bottom center of this view and is farther from the spacecraft than the rings are here. This view looks toward the southern, unilluminated side of the rings from about 1 degree below the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Dec. 30, 2011. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.5 million miles (2.4 million kilometers) from Epimetheus. Image scale is 9 miles (14 kilometers) 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 in Washington. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute