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Looming Saturn
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Looming Saturn

December 25, 2012
Janus is spotted over Saturn's north pole in this image while Mimas' shadow glides across Saturn. Janus is the faint dot that appears just above Saturn's north pole. Mimas' shadow can be seen in the southern hemisphere of Saturn, south of the rings' shadow.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 25 degrees below the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Aug. 24, 2012.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.6 million miles (2.6 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 80 degrees. Image scale is 94 miles (152 kilometers) per pixel. Janus has been brightened by a factor of 1.3 relative to Saturn to enhance its visibility.

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.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute