CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Many Colors, Many Moons
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Many Colors, Many Moons
PIA 10487

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  Four moons huddle near Saturn's multi-hued disk. The coloration of the planet's northern hemisphere has changed noticeably since Cassini's arrival in orbit in mid-2004. Imaging scientists are working to understand the causes of this change, which is suspected to be a seasonal effect.

Giant Titan (5,150 kilometers, 3,200 miles across), with its darker winter hemisphere, dominates the smaller moons in the scene. Beneath and left of Titan is Janus (181 kilometers, 113 miles across). Mimas (397 kilometers, 247 miles across) appears as a bright dot close to the planet and beneath the rings. Prometheus (102 kilometers, 63 miles across) is a faint speck hugging the rings between the two small moons.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from less than a degree above the ringplane.

Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. The view was acquired with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Oct. 26, 2007, at a distance of approximately 1.5 million kilometers (920,000 miles) from Saturn and 2.7 million kilometers (1.7 million miles) from Titan. Image scale is 89 kilometers (55 miles) per pixel on Saturn and 164 kilometers (102 miles) per pixel on Titan.

The Cassini Equinox Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. 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 Equinox Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: October 9, 2008 (Happy 68th Birthday, John) (PIA 10487)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
Red_dragon (Oct 11, 2008 at 4:14 AM):
As a side note, it's interesting to notice the subtle hues of Saturn's northern hemisphere; it's not just hot hues replacing cool ones from south to north, notice the pink band near the top of the image.
Red_dragon (Oct 9, 2008 at 2:21 PM):
"Worlds of the Cassini-Huygens Mission: Reigns of Gas and Ice".

Fantastic image as usual. Now to wait until tomorrow to see if everything has gone well with that hair-rising Enceladus flyby.

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