Cassini gazes across the icy rings of Saturn toward the icy moon Tethys, whose night side is illuminated by Saturnshine, or sunlight reflected by the planet.
Tethys was on the far side of Saturn with respect to Cassini here; an observer looking upward from the moon’s surface toward Cassini would see Saturn’s illuminated disk filling the sky.
Tethys was brightened by a factor of two in this image to increase its visibility. A sliver of the moon’s sunlit northern hemisphere is seen at top. A bright wedge of Saturn’s sunlit side is seen at lower left.
This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 10 degrees above the ring plane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on May 13, 2017.
The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 750,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 140 degrees. Image scale is 43 miles (70 kilometers) per pixel on Saturn. The distance to Tethys was about 930,000 miles (1.5 million kilometers). The image scale on Tethys is about 56 miles (90 kilometers) per pixel.
I would like to take this moment to remind everyone that Cassini will take it’s final journey into the clouds of Saturn on September 15. Specifically it will happen on September 15, 2017, at around 6:32 am Eastern Standard Time, with the Earth receiving the last signal from Cassini at 7:55 am EST.