The three very different moons seen here provide targets of great interest for planetary scientists studying the Saturn system. Captured here by Cassini, along with the rings, are Tethys (1,062 kilometers, 660 miles across) at upper right, Enceladus (504 kilometers, 313 miles across) below center and Janus (179 kilometers, 111 miles across) at lower left.
Researchers study the orbital dance of Janus with Epimetheus, tectonics and cratering on Tethys and geyser activity on Enceladus. And these are only a few of the wonders that await exploration in the realm of the ringed planet.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on March 16, 2006, at a distance of approximately 2.4 million kilometers (1.5 million miles) from Tethys, 1.9 million kilometers (1.2 million miles) from Enceladus and 2.2 million kilometers (1.4 million miles) from Janus. The image scale is 14 kilometers (9 miles) per pixel on Tethys, 11 kilometers (7 miles) per pixel on Enceladus and 13 kilometers (8 miles) per pixel on Epimetheus.
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.