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Saturn's Confidants



Category: Rings

Saturn's rings, with Mimas and Pandora

Saturn's Confidants
October 18, 2007
Full-Res: PIA09752

Two of Saturn's icy attendants race past on their circuit of the ringed beauty.

Mimas (397 kilometers, or 247 miles across), with its prominent crater Herschel, is seen at right. The shepherd moon Pandora (84 kilometers, or 52 miles across) cruises along at center, just beyond Saturn's F ring. Orbiting nearly 44,000 kilolmeters (27,500 miles) closer to Saturn than its more distant neighbor, the swifter Pandora is about to overtake Mimas.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 4 degrees below the ringplane. Shadows cast by the rings adorn the northern hemisphere.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Sept. 8, 2007. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 3.1 million kilometers (1.9 million miles) from the two moons. Image scale is about 18 kilometers (11 miles) per pixel on both bodies.

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




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