CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

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Saturn and Dione regard Enceladus--the object their gravitational tug-of-war.

Dione (1,123 kilometers, 698 miles across) is seen next to Saturn here; Enceladus (504 kilometers, 313 miles across) appears at left.

The interplay of gravitational forces on Enceladus from both Saturn and Dione might provide a key source of energy for the geological activity in the small moon's south polar region. What powers the activity on Enceladus is an ongoing subject of interest to Cassini scientists.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 3 degrees above the ringplane.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Nov. 8, 2007 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 727 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 2.9 million kilometers (1.8 million miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 169 kilometers (105 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: December 18, 2007 (PIA 09798)
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PIA 09798

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Alliance Member Comments
Red_dragon (Dec 21, 2007 at 7:47 AM):
It's fun to compare this cool image with these two others: "Spellbinding Saturn" ( and "Cold Kingdom" (

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