Small Moons on the Edge
March 30, 2006
Staring toward the outer edge of Saturn's main rings, the Cassini spacecraft spots Pandora and tiny Atlas. Several clumps are visible in the narrow F ring, as well as multiple dusty strands flanking the F ring core.
Pandora (84 kilometers, or 52 miles across) is seen here outside the F ring, while Atlas (32 kilometers, or 20 miles across) is a mere dim pixel just above the bright outer edge of the A ring.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Feb. 19, 2006, using a filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 862 nanometers, and at a distance of approximately 2.6 million kilometers (1.6 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 16 kilometers (10 miles) per pixel.
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.
For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit HYPERLINK "http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov" http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at HYPERLINK "http://ciclops.org" http://ciclops.org .
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute