Enceladus Moon Shadow on Saturn

The ringed planet sits in repose, the center of its own macrocosm of many rings and moons...and one artificial satellite named Cassini.


Mimas (397 kilometers, or 247 miles across) is visible at upper left. Although unseen in this view, Enceladus (504 kilometers, or 313 miles across) casts its shadow upon the planet. The rings also block the Sun's light from the low latitudes of the northern hemisphere.

During Cassini's extended mission, dubbed the Cassini Equinox Mission, which begins on July 1, 2008, the ring shadows will slip past the planet's equator and into the southern hemisphere as Saturn passes through its northern vernal equinox on August 11, 2009, and the Sun moves northward through the ring plane.

This view looks down on the unilluminated side of the rings from about 22 degrees above (north of) the ring plane.