CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Mini Moon
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The faint G ring surrounding Saturn offers up a glimpse of its newfound tiny moonlet.

The moonlet is near the center of this image. A long exposure of 46 seconds was required to capture the light from this tiny object and G ring, so the moonlet and a few stars have been smeared by motion.

In August 2008 Cassini scientists spotted this moonlet, dubbed S/2008 S 1. It orbits in an arc, or partial ring, within the G ring. Imaging team scientists estimated the moonlet's diameter at about half a kilometer (one-third mile). For earlier images of this moonlet, see PIA11148.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 14 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Feb. 20, 2009. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.2 million kilometers (746,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 7 kilometers (4 miles) per pixel.

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: April 9, 2009 (PIA 11467)
Image/Caption Information
  Mini Moon
PIA 11467

Avg Rating: 8.67/10

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