In a silent orbital ballet, Saturn's crater-covered moon Rhea slips between the moons Mimas and Enceladus. The dark sides of Enceladus (bottom) and Mimas (top) are dimly illuminated by reflected light from Saturn.
Rhea is 1,528 kilometers (949 miles) across, Mimas is 397 kilometers (247 miles) across, and Enceladus is 505 kilometers (314 miles) across.
The movie was created using 59 clear-filter images taken over a period of about 40 minutes. The images were acquired by the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Jan. 27, 2006, at a mean distance of approximately 3 million kilometers (1.9 million miles) from Rhea, 3.5 million kilometers (2.2 million miles) from Mimas, and 3.7 million kilometers (2.3 million miles) from Enceladus. The image scale is approximately 18 kilometers (11 miles) per pixel on Rhea, 21 kilometers (13 miles) per pixel on Mimas, and 22 kilometers (14 miles) per pixel on Enceladus.
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