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The month of January is named for the mythical Roman god Janus, who guarded the gate of heaven. Cassini spied the heavily cratered, irregularly shaped moon (179 kilometers, 111 miles across) as it glided along in its orbit, about 11,000 kilometers beyond the bright core of the narrow F ring. Only vague hints of the moon's surface morphology are visible from this distance.
The image was taken in visible light with the narrow angle camera on January 22, 2005, from a distance of approximately 2.5 million kilometers (1.6 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 15 kilometers (9 miles) per pixel. The image has been contrast-enhanced and magnified by a factor of two to aid visibility.
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.