Cluster of Moons
October 8, 2007
Three of Saturn's closest-orbiting moons are captured here, rounding the rings.
From innermost to outermost are Atlas (32 kilometers, or 20 miles across), Pandora (84 kilometers, or 52 miles across) and Mimas (397 kilometers, or 247 miles across).
The F ring displays a double-banded structure here, along with its usual squiggles and kinks. Near right, a faint ringlet can be observed within the Encke Gap.
This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 4 degrees below the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Sept. 6, 2007. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 2.9 million kilometers (1.8 million miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 17 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 http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute