CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Big and Small Before Rings
[For trouble viewing the images/movies on this page, go here]
Big and Small Before Rings
PIA 12638

Avg Rating: 9.60/10

Full Size 1016x1016:
PNG 340 KB
  Saturn's moon Rhea looms near its sibling moon Epimetheus in this Cassini image with the planet and its rings in the background.

The two moons aren't actually close to each other. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.2 million kilometers (746,000 miles) from Rhea and 1.6 million kilometers (994,000 miles) from Epimetheus.

Lit terrain seen here is in the area between the trailing hemisphere and anti-Saturn side of Rhea (1528 kilometers, 949 miles across). Lit terrain seen on Epimetheus (113 kilometers, 70 miles across) is mostly on the Saturn-facing side. This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane.

The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on March 24, 2010. Image scale is 7 kilometers (5 miles) per pixel on Rhea and 10 kilometers (6 miles) per pixel on Epimetheus.

The Cassini Equinox Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. 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 was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team consists of scientists from the US, England, France, and Germany. The imaging operations center and team lead (Dr. C. Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini Equinox Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: May 21, 2010 (PIA 12638)
Image/Caption Information