| Phoebe Looms in View |
June 11, 2004
| Animation (2.5 MB QuickTime) |
Phoebe, Saturn's largest outer moon, is the first target of exploration for the Saturn-bound Cassini spacecraft. This composite shows a set of four images taken from June 7 through June 10, 2004, by the spacecraft as it approached Phoebe. This eccentric moon has a diameter of 220 kilometers (about 136.7 miles) and orbits Saturn in the opposite direction of its larger interior moons. Previous ground-based observations have shown water ice present on its surface. In 1981, Voyager 2 captured images of Phoebe from about 2.2 million kilometers (about 1.4 million miles) away. Cassini will obtain images from a mere 2,000 kilometers (about 1,240 miles) above the moon's surface. The closest approach to Phoebe will be at 1:56 p.m. Pacific Time on June 11, just 19 days before Saturn arrival.
For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit, http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and the Cassini imaging team home page, http://ciclops.org .