Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Saturn Looms

Janus is spotted over Saturn's north pole in this image while Mimas' shadow glides across Saturn.

Janus is the faint dot that appears just above Saturn's north pole. Mimas' shadow can be seen in the southern hemisphere of Saturn, south of the rings' shadow. (Both objects are easier to find in higher resolution versions.)

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 25 degrees below the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on August 24, 2012.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.6 million miles (2.6 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 80 degrees. Image scale is 94 miles (152 kilometers) per pixel. Janus has been brightened by a factor of 1.3 relative to Saturn to enhance its visibility.

Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

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