Image from Cassini captures five of Saturn’s moons

With the artistry of a magazine cover shoot, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured a portrait of five of Saturn’s moons poised along the planet’s rings. Saturn has 53 named moons.

From left to right are Janus, Pandora, Enceladus, Mimas and Rhea – bisected by the right side of the frame. The planet Saturn is not visible in this image – only the rings and five moons. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 684,000 miles (1.1 million kilometers) from Rhea and 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers) from Enceladus.

Janus, Pandora, Enceladus, Mimas and Rhea. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

The Cassini spacecraft’s narrow-angle camera took the image in visible green light on July 29, 2011. Image scale is about four miles (seven kilometers) per pixel on Rhea and seven miles (11 kilometers) per pixel on Enceladus.

Artist’s illustration of Cassini and Saturn. Via Wikipedia

The Cassini-Huygens mission is to study Saturn and its numerous satellites. The spacecraft launched in 1997 and arrived at Saturn in July 2004. It is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency.

Bottom line: The Cassini spacecraft captured an image of five of Saturn’s moons along with part of the planet’s rings on July 29, 2011.


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