Long Divisions – New Cassini Image of Saturn and Mimas

New Cassini Image of Saturn with Mimas

This newly released image form the Cassini Spacecraft shows Saturn and Mimas.

The shadow of Saturn on the rings, which stretched across all of the rings earlier in Cassini’s mission, now barely makes it past the Cassini division.

The changing length of the shadow marks the passing of the seasons on Saturn. As the planet nears its northern-hemisphere solstice in May 2017, the shadow will get even shorter. At solstice, the shadow’s edge will be about 28,000 miles (45,000 kilometers) from the planet’s surface, barely making it past the middle of the B ring.

The moon Mimas is a few pixels wide, near the lower left in this image.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 35 degrees above the ring plane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on May 21, 2016.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 2.0 million miles (3.2 million kilometers) from Saturn. Image scale is 120 miles (190 kilometers) per pixel.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

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