Saturn's rings occupy the space between two of the planet's moons in this image, taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, which shows the highly reflective moon Enceladus in the background and the smaller moon Janus in the fore.
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The Space Between

Saturn's rings occupy the space between two of the planet's moons in this image which shows the highly reflective moon Enceladus in the background and the smaller moon Janus in the fore.

Janus (179 kilometers, or 111 miles across) is near the center of the image. Enceladus (504 kilometers, or 313 miles across) is on the far right. Janus, at a distance of 2.3 million kilometers (1.4 million miles), is closest to the Cassini spacecraft here. Enceladus, at a distance of 2.6 million kilometers (1.6 million miles), the farthest object in this image. The rings are in between.

This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane. The rings and Janus have been brightened by a factor of two relative to Enceladus.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Nov. 28, 2009. Scale on Enceladus is 16 kilometers (10 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.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.

Image details

ID#:
PIA12550

Date added:
2010-02-16

Target:
S Rings

Mission:
Cassini-Huygens

Spacecraft:
Cassini Orbiter

Instruments:
Imaging Science Subsystem - Narrow Angle

Rating:



Views:
3,468

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA12550.tif (0.44 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA12550.jpg (0.02 MB)

Image credit:
NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute