CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Rings on a Diagonal

Rings on a Diagonal
PIA 12668

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  A pair of Saturn's small satellites, Janus and Pandora, accompany the planet's rings in this Cassini image presenting the view in dramatic diagonal fashion.

The rings are between the two moons. Janus, just above the center of the image, is most distant here. This view looks toward the leading hemisphere of Pandora (81 kilometers, 50 miles across) and the trailing hemisphere of Janus (179 kilometers, 111 miles across). This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 11, 2010. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.9 million kilometers (1.2 million miles) from Janus and 1.8 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Pandora. Scale is about 11 kilometers (7 miles) per pixel on both moons.

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: July 2, 2010 (PIA 12668)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
Mercury_3488 (Jul 3, 2010 at 1:55 PM):
Just as a reminder everyone, I am sure Carolyn is also very interested, a week today (Saturday 10th July 2010) the ESA spacecraft Rosetta passes approx 3,160 KM from the large Main Belt Asteroid 21 Lutetia, approx 132 KM by 95 KM in size. The best images will have a resolution of approx 95 metres.

21 Lutetia will be the first ever large asteroid seen up close.

I will be posting the images up live as they are released later that day on Space.Com & will link to TWITTER.

Andrew Brown.
Mercury_3488 (Jul 3, 2010 at 11:36 AM):
WOW thanks Carolyn. Fantastic, love this image. What is nice is that both Pandora & Janus display shapes & surface features & the rings highly foreshortened.

Wonderful & we have the potential of at least another seven years of these wonders.

I hope ARGO / New Horizons 2 will be approved, a Jovian asteroid 5638 Deikoon, utilising a Saturn system encounter (first close Saturn & Titan obs post Cassini), Neptune & Triton (first close ups since Voyager 2)& the KB.

Andrew Brown.