CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Moons on the Move

Moons on the Move
PIA 09864

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  Titan emerges from behind Saturn, while Tethys streaks into view, in this colorful scene. Saturn's shadow darkens the far arm of the rings near the planet's limb.

Titan is 5,150 kilometers (3,200 miles) wide; Tethys is 1,062 kilometers (660 miles) wide.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 3 degrees above the ringplane.

Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. The images were acquired with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Jan. 30, 2008 at a distance of approximately 1.3 million kilometers (800,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 77 kilometers (48 miles) per pixel on Saturn.

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.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit and the Cassini imaging team home page,

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: March 24, 2008 (PIA 09864)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
Harry (Apr 24, 2008 at 3:32 PM):
Being very visual myself, I concur with your imagined view of one of the rocky inner planets in the place of Titan. Earth is only 2.5X larger in diameter and, of course, Mercury would even appear smaller.

This brings-up the old discussion of definitions of the terms "planet", "dwarf planet" and "moon". Physically, Titan, a moon, is more analogous to Earth or Venus, planets. Titan is definitely more similar to Earth than Earth is to Saturn. Of course, we all (at least most will agree ;^)) acknowledge that how the body fits in the solar system differentiates moons, planets and dwarf plants. The analogy makes me shake my head in wonder though.

Such a broad variance of entities within the classifications of galaxies, stars, planets, moons, etc. Never a dull moment out there. There is so much room for your imagination to wander yet still be within the realm of possibilities. It makes you wonder what we will find next....

Again, thanks to all of you engaged in trying to make sense of all this!
bruno.thiery (Apr 20, 2008 at 1:32 PM):
I missed that one...
It is indeed quite something. Look how the large moon Titan is dwarfed by Saturn!
I just wonder what a blue, Earth-like style moon would look around a planet like this.
Red_dragon (Mar 25, 2008 at 3:31 AM):
Truly beautiful image as usual, and a great complement to