CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Trio of Small Moons
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The F ring's shepherds, Prometheus and Pandora, join Epimetheus in this image of three of Saturn's moons and the rings.

Prometheus (86 kilometers, 53 miles across) can be seen orbiting inside the thin F ring near the middle of the image. Pandora (81 kilometers, 50 miles across) orbits outside the F ring to the left of Prometheus. Epimetheus (113 kilometers, 70 miles across) orbits beyond the F ring near the bottom of the image.

See PIA07653 to learn more about how Prometheus and Pandora "shepherd" the F ring.

This view looks toward the southern, unilluminated side of the rings from about 2 degrees below the ringplane. Several background stars are visible.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Aug. 2, 2010. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 2.5 million kilometers (1.6 million miles) from Prometheus and Pandora. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 2.6 million kilometers (1.6 million miles) from Epimetheus. Image scale is 15 kilometers (9 miles) per pixel on Prometheus and Pandora. Image scale is 16 kilometers (10 miles) per pixel on Epimetheus.

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: September 9, 2010 (PIA 12717)
Image/Caption Information
  Trio of Small Moons
PIA 12717

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