Moons in Perspective
January 20, 2006
Two of Saturn's battered, icy companions hover here, above the ringplane.
To get a sense of the three-dimensional nature of the scene, note that the wide band of visible rings is in between the two moons in this view from the Cassini spacecraft. Mimas (397 kilometers, or 247 miles across, at left) is outside the far side of the rings. Dione (1,126 kilometers, or 700 miles across) is outside the rings and closest to Cassini.
The view is from just beneath the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Dec. 18, 2005, at a distance of approximately 2.2 million kilometers (1.4 million miles) from Dione and 2.7 million kilometers (1.7 million miles) from Mimas. The image scale is 13 kilometers (8 miles) per pixel on Dione and 16 kilometers (10 miles) per pixel on Mimas.
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/Space Science Institute