Enjoying EarthSky? Subscribe.

0 subscribers and counting ...

Contrasting crescents

A comparative look at 2 crescent moons – Saturn’s icy moon Rhea and largest moon Titan – taken by the Cassini spacecraft.

In this view of two of Saturn’s 60-plus moons, icy Rhea passes in front of Saturn’s largest moon, the enormous Titan. This image was taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft on November 19, 2009, at a distance of approximately 713,300 miles (1,148,000 kilometers) from Rhea.

Some of the differences between the two moons are apparent in this image. While Rhea is a heavily-cratered, airless world, Titan’s nitrogen-rich atmosphere is even thicker than Earth’s.

The moons of Saturn are numerous and diverse, ranging from tiny moonlets about half a mile (less than 1 km) across to huge Titan, which is larger than the planet Mercury. You can read about Cassini’s encounters with Saturn’s moons here.

The Cassini spacecraft ended its mission on September 15, 2017.

Bottom line: Cassini spacecraft photo of Saturn’s icy moon Rhea and large moon Titan.

Read more from NASA

Eleanor Imster

MORE ARTICLES