Having completed its original four-year mission in June 2008, the Cassini orbiter is now extending its reach during the new Cassini Equinox Mission, which is scheduled to last through September 2010.
The new mission is named for the Saturnian equinox, which Cassini will observe as it occurs in August, when the sun will shine directly on the equator and illuminate the northern hemisphere and the rings' northern face.
This view of Saturn, taken by the Cassini spacecraft, looks toward the sunlit side of Saturn's rings from about 21 degrees below the ringplane.
Janus, one of Saturn's moons, is not visible in this image, but we can see its shadow as Janus joins other Saturnian moons in the equinox shadow-casting party as it moves across the rings.
This visible light image was taken with a narrow-angle camera on May 10. This 5-kilometer-per-pixel scale view is from a distance of around 965,000 kilometers from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft angle of 46 degrees.
June 25, 2009 5:00 AM PDT
Photo by: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
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