This brief movie illustrates the passage of the Moon through the Saturn-bound Cassini spacecraft's wide-angle camera field of view as the spacecraft passed by the Moon on the way to its closest approach with Earth on August 17, 1999. From beginning to end of the sequence, 25 wide-angle images (with a spatial image scale of about 14 miles per pixel (about 23 kilometers) were taken over the course of 7 and 1/2 minutes through a series of narrow and broadband spectral filters and polarizers, ranging from the violet to the near-infrared regions of the spectrum, to calibrate the spectral response of the wide-angle camera. The exposure times range from 5 milliseconds to 1.5 seconds. Two of the exposures were smeared and have been discarded and replaced with nearby images to make a smooth movie sequence. All images were scaled so that the brightness of Crisium basin, the dark circular region in the upper right, is approximately the same in every image. The imaging data were processed and released by the Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations (CICLOPS) at the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, Tucson, AZ.
Photo Credit: NASA/JPL/Cassini Imaging Team/University of Arizona
Cassini, launched in 1997, is a joint mission of NASA, the European Space Agency and Italian Space Agency. The mission is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington DC. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA.