April 30, 2009
The Cassini spacescraft takes a break from the Saturn system to check out the Seven Sisters.
Cassini imaged the Pleiades star cluster, also called the Seven Sisters, as part of a routine to monitor the health of the spacecraft's cameras. This image of these familiar stars was an observation used to check that the camera's sensor, or charge-coupled device (CCD), was calibrated properly. For a brighter view of these stars, see The Seven Sisters.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Sept. 29, 2008.
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