CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Four Moons
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Four Moons
PIA 17157

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  Two pairs of moons make a rare joint appearance. The F ring's shepherd moons, Prometheus and Pandora, appear just inside and outside of the F ring. Meanwhile, farther from Saturn the co-orbital moons Janus (near the bottom) and Epimetheus (near the top) also are captured.

Prometheus (53 miles, 86 kilometers across) and Pandora (50 miles, 81 kilometers across) sculpt the F ring through their gravitational influences. Janus (111 miles, 179 kilometers across) and Epimetheus (70 miles, 113 kilometers across) are famous for their orbital dance, swapping places about every four years. They are also responsible for gravitationally shaping the outer edge of the A ring into 7 scallops.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 47 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Oct. 11, 2013.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 825,000 miles (1.3 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 47 degrees. Image scale is 47 miles (76 kilometers) per pixel.

The Cassini Solstice 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 Solstice Mission visit http://ciclops.org, http://www.nasa.gov/cassini and http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Released: March 24, 2014 (PIA 17157)
Image/Caption Information



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