Gathering of Moons
October 1, 2008
A trio of icy moons crowds together along the Cassini spacecraft's line of sight.
Brilliant Enceladus (504 kilometers, or 313 miles across) sits on the planet's shadow-draped limb at center; Pandora (81 kilometers, or 50 miles across at its widest point) is a bright speck hovering near the rings; and Mimas (396 kilometers, or 246 miles across) is seen at lower right.
This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about a degree below the ringplane. The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on June 28, 2007. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 291,000 kilometers (181,000 miles) from Enceladus. Scale in the image ranges from 17 kilometers (11 miles) per pixel on Enceladus to 32 kilometers (20 miles) per pixel on Saturn, in the background.
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