Moons in Transit
July 18, 2008
Two small moons race across the face of Saturn. The planet's icy rings cast dark shadows onto the feathery clouds below.
Janus (179 kilometers, or 111 miles across) appears above the rings near center. Pandora (81 kilometers, or 50 miles across) is slightly closer to Saturn, to the left of Janus.
This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 7 degrees below the ringplane. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on June 18, 2008 using a combination of spectral filters sensitive to wavelengths of polarized infrared light centered at 752 and 705 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.1 million kilometers (683,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 62 kilometers (39 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.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute