The bright crescent of Enceladus slides past distant Rhea in this mutual event, or occultation, movie from Cassini.
The movie was created from 40 original images taken over the course of about 20 minutes as the spacecraft's narrow angle camera remained pointed toward Enceladus. Additional frames were inserted between the 40 Cassini images in order to smooth the appearance of the moons' movement - a scheme called interpolation.
As Enceladus (504 kilometers, 313 miles across) approaches Rhea (1,528 kilometers, 949 miles across), the shadow of Saturn can be seen, projected onto the unlit side of its incredible rings.
The images were taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on March 2, 2006 at a distance of approximately 2.8 million kilometers (1.7 million miles) from Rhea and 2 million kilometers (1.2 million miles) from Enceladus. Image scale is 17 kilometers (11 miles) per pixel on Rhea and 12 kilometers (7 miles) per pixel on Enceladus.
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.