An illuminated quarter of the moon Tethys is imaged near a swath of Saturn's rings.
Though the moon appears to be hanging directly below the rings, Tethys is actually farther from the Cassini spacecraft, and the rings are in the foreground. Lit terrain seen here is mostly on the leading hemisphere of Tethys (1,062 kilometers, or 660 miles across). This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 15, 2010. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 2.8 million kilometers (1.7 million miles) from Tethys and at a Sun-Tethys-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 95 degrees. Image scale is 17 kilometers (11 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.