PIA10508: Tethys in Eclipse
Target Name: Tethys
Is a satellite of: Saturn
Mission: Cassini-Huygens
Spacecraft: Cassini Orbiter
Instrument: Imaging Science Subsystem - Wide Angle
Product Size: 1014 x 1013 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Cassini Imaging Team
Full-Res TIFF: PIA10508.tif (1.028 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA10508.jpg (21.67 kB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Original Caption Released with Image:

Tethys sits within Saturn's shadow, but not in complete darkness. While in eclipse the moon is illuminated by feeble ringshine reflected from the planet's night side and by sunlight scattered through the rings.

This is a similar observation to PIA10433. Such images provide confirmation of the spacecraft's precise pointing for Cassini's Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS), which measures Tethys' surface temperature as it responds to the sudden darkness of an eclipse.

Lit terrain seen here is on the Saturn-facing side of Tethys (1,062 kilometers, or 660 miles across). North is up and rotated 12 degrees to the right.

A long exposure time was required in order to image Tethys while it was in shadow, resulting in the background stars' point-like images being smeared into streaks. Additionally, the image was taken using a compression scheme that reduces the image file size on the spacecraft's data recorder, resulting in the moon's pixilated appearance.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Sept. 25, 2008. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 113,000 kilometers (70,000 miles) from Tethys. Image scale is 7 kilometers (4 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.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Image Addition Date:
2008-11-07