Atlas in the Distance
The Cassini spacecraft looks past Saturn's main rings to spy the tiny moon Atlas, which orbits between the main rings and the thin F ring.
The main rings are closer to the spacecraft than Atlas is, and the moon appears as only a small, white dot in the center of the image. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane.
See Atlas and the F Ring and Saturn's Saucer Moons for other views of Atlas (19 miles, 30 kilometers across).
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 16, 2012. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 870,000 miles (1.4 million kilometers) from Atlas. Image scale is 5 miles (8 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, 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-Caltech/Space Science Institute