Moons by the Bunch
April 28, 2009
Three moons have bunched themselves together in this image of Saturn's rings.
Janus (179 kilometers, or 111 miles across) sits bright and overexposed outside the faint F ring. Prometheus (86 kilometers, 53 miles across) lies inside the F ring to the left of the center of the image. Tiny Daphnis (8 kilometers, or 5 miles across) is present but not visible in the thin Keeler Gap of the A ring just below Prometheus in this image.
This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 20 degrees below the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on March 2, 2009. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.1 million kilometers (684,000 miles) from Janus and at a Sun-Janus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 47 degrees. Image scale is 63 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