The irregularly shaped moon Janus keeps up its lonely orbit as seen by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. Even though Janus shares its orbit with the moon Epimetheus, they never get very close to one another.

Originally released on Oct. 14, 2013

The irregularly shaped moon Janus keeps up its lonely orbit. Even though Janus shares its orbit with the moon Epimetheus, they never get very close to one another thanks to the gravitational resonance that swaps their orbits roughly every four years and ensures that they don't collide.

This view looks toward the anti-Saturn side of Janus. North on Janus is up and rotated 32 degrees to the right. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 15, 2013.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 750,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) from Janus and at a Sun-Janus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 8 degrees. Image scale is 4 miles (7 kilometers) per pixel. The F ring has been brightened by a factor of 1.4 relative to the rest of the image to enhance visibility.

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://www.nasa.gov/cassini and http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov.

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