CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Saturn's Icy Realm
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Saturn's Icy Realm
PIA 07538

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  Three of Saturn's icy moons are seen here, along with the magnificent water-ice rings and the cold gaseous envelope of the planet's atmosphere. Saturn's dark shadow stretches completely across the rings.

At nine and a half times farther from the Sun than Earth, Saturn inhabits the deep cold of the outer Solar System. The Sun appears only 1 percent as bright there as it appears at Earth, creating an environment where ice dominates over rock.

The icy Moons visible here, from left to right: Janus (179 kilometers, 111 miles across), Enceladus (504 kilometers, 313 miles across), and Epimetheus (113 kilometers, 70 miles across).

The image was taken in visible green light with the wide angle camera on June 1, 2005, from a distance of approximately 2.4 million kilometers (1.5 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 139 kilometers (86 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 Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. 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-Huygens mission, visit and the Cassini imaging team home page,

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: July 8, 2005 (PIA 07538)
Image/Caption Information

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