February 10, 2006
This close pairing of Janus and Epimetheus shows the two moons at "high phase," meaning that only a thin sliver of sunlit terrain is visible on each moon. Portions of each are also lit feebly by reflected light from Saturn.
Here, Janus (181 kilometers, or 113 miles across) is at top and Epimetheus (116 kilometers, or 72 miles across) is below.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Dec. 25, 2005, at a distance of approximately 479,000 kilometers (298,000 miles) from Janus and 455,000 kilometers (283,000 miles) from Epimetheus. The image scale is about 3 kilometers (2 miles) per pixel on both moons.
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