A crescent Saturn is blemished by the black spot of its moon Dione seen orbiting between the planet and the Cassini spacecraft.
Although Dione appears as only a black dot, there is actually a thin crescent of lit terrain on the moon, just as there is on Saturn. However, the lit terrain on Dione is lost in front of the brilliant backdrop of Saturn.
This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible red light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Oct. 27, 2009. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 2.3 million kilometers (1.4 million miles) from Saturn and at a sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 120 degrees. Image scale is 136 kilometers (85 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.