CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Cluster of Moons
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Three of Saturn's closest-orbiting moons are captured here, rounding the rings.

From innermost to outermost are Atlas (30 kilometers, 19 miles across), Pandora (81 kilometers, 50 miles across) and Mimas (396 kilometers, 246 miles across).

The F ring displays a double-banded structure here, along with its usual squiggles and kinks. Near right, a faint ringlet can be observed within the Encke Gap.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 4 degrees below the ringplane.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Sept. 6, 2007. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 2.9 million kilometers (1.8 million miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 17 kilometers (10 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: October 8, 2007 (PIA 09744)
Image/Caption Information
  Cluster of Moons
PIA 09744

Avg Rating: 9.10/10

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Alliance Member Comments
kheider (Feb 18, 2008 at 6:07 PM):
The picture does a great job of capturing the size and brightness difference of these 3 different moons in a real photo vs the traditional cropping and scaling of separate images. -- Kevin

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