CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Triple Crescents
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A single crescent moon is a familiar sight in Earth's sky, but with Saturn's many moons, you can see three or even more.

The three moons shown here -- Titan (3,200 miles or 5,150 kilometers across), Mimas (246 miles or 396 kilometers across), and Rhea (949 miles or 1,527 kilometers across) -- show marked contrasts. Titan, the largest moon in this image, appears fuzzy because we only see its cloud layers. And because Titan’s atmosphere refracts light around the moon, its crescent “wraps” just a little further around the moon than it would on an airless body. Rhea (upper left) appears rough because its icy surface is heavily cratered. And a close inspection of Mimas (center bottom), though difficult to see at this scale, shows surface irregularities due to its own violent history.

This view looks toward the anti-Saturn hemisphere of Titan. North on Titan is to the right. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on March 25, 2015.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 2.7 million miles (4.3 million kilometers) from Titan. Image scale at Titan is 16 miles (26 kilometers) per pixel. Mimas was 1.9 million miles (3.0 million kilometers) away with an image scale of 11 miles (18 kilometers) per pixel. Rhea was 1.6 million miles (2.6 million kilometers) away with an image scale of 9.8 miles (15.7 kilometer) per pixel.

Caption updated July 22, 2015 to correct the stated orientation of north.

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: June 22, 2015 (PIA 18322)
Image/Caption Information
  Triple Crescents
PIA 18322

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Alliance Member Comments
Robert (Jun 22, 2015 at 7:28 PM):
Oh this is just pure cool heavenly delight.

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