CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Before Immense Saturn
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Before Immense Saturn
PIA 12682

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  The moons Mimas and Janus seem insignificant in front of the immensity of Saturn in this Cassini image.

Mimas (396 kilometers, 246 miles across) is visible above the rings near the center of the image. Janus (179 kilometers, 111 miles across) is barely detectable as a tiny speck of light below the rings on the left. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Nov. 24, 2009 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.6 million kilometers (994,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 85 degrees. Image scale is 93 kilometers (58 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: July 22, 2010 (PIA 12682)
Image/Caption Information

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