Astronomy Cmarchesin

Releases from NASA, NASA Galex, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Hubble, Hinode, Spitzer, Cassini, ESO, ESA, Chandra, HiRISE, Royal Astronomical Society, NRAO, Astronomy Picture of the Day, Harvard-Smithsonian Center For Astrophysics, etc.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Children of Saturn

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Two moons on opposite sides of the rings slide past each other in this stately portrait of Saturn.

Dione (1,126 kilometers, or 700 miles across), on the far side of Saturn, appears above the rings. Tethys (1,071 kilometers, or 665 miles across) poses directly in front of the ringplane.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from less than a degree above the ringplane. The silhouette of the rings overlay the subtle texture of Saturn's atmosphere.

The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on July 29, 2007. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 3.2 million kilometers (2 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 32 degrees. Image scale is 188 kilometers (117 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.