Cassini sighted the far-off icy moon Tethys as it headed back toward Saturn in its long, looping first orbit of the planet. A faint hint of detail on the moon's cratered surface is visible here. Tethys was discovered by Giovanni Cassini, for whom the spacecraft was named. Its diameter is 1,060 kilometers (659 miles) across.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera on Sept. 9, 2004, at a distance of 8.8 million kilometers (5.5 million miles) from Tethys and at a Sun-Tethys-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 81 degrees. The image scale is 53 kilometers (33 miles) per pixel. The image was magnified by a factor of four and contrast enhanced to aid visibility.
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 Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. 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.
For more information, about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit, http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and the Cassini imaging team home page, http://ciclops.org.