CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Enceladus and Dione
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Two icy moons meet on the sky in a "mutual event" recorded by Cassini.

The great brightness of Enceladus (504 kilometers, 313 miles across) is rather obvious in comparison to Dione (1,123 kilometers, 698 miles across). Enceladus is the most reflective object in the Solar System, and is nearly pure white. Dione, in comparison, reflects about 70 percent of the light falling upon it.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on July 24, 2007. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.9 million kilometers (1.2 million miles) from Enceladus and 2.2 million kilometers (1.3 million miles) from Dione. Image scale is 11 kilometers (7 miles) per pixel on Enceladus and 13 kilometers (8 miles) per pixel on Dione.

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: September 17, 2007 (PIA 09729)
Image/Caption Information
  Enceladus and Dione
PIA 09729

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