Darkened Moons, Searing F Ring
July 20, 2006
Two ring moons chase each other as their larger sibling looks on.This view shows Tethys at lower left, along with perpetually mingling Epimetheus at left of center, and Janus at center.
Tethys is 1,071 kilometers (665 miles) across; Epimetheus is 116 kilometers (72 miles) across; and Janus is 181 kilometers (113 miles) across.
In the background, the faint G ring and brilliant F ring bound the location where Cassini entered Saturn orbit. The spacecraft passed between these two rings upon arrival in mid-2004.
Near the right side of the image, a couple of ringlets within the Encke gap glow faintly.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 15, 2006 at a distance of approximately 3.9 million kilometers (2.4 million miles) from Janus, 4 million kilometers (2.5 million miles) from Epimetheus, and 3.7 million kilometers (2.3 million miles) from Tethys. Image scale is 24 kilometers (15 miles) per pixel on Janus and Epimetheus and 22 kilometers (14 miles) per pixel on Tethys.
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