CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Craters Before Haze

Craters Before Haze
PIA 12778

Avg Rating: 9.24/10

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  Cassini views the cratered surface of Saturn's moon Tethys in front of the hazy orb of the planet's largest moon, Titan.

Tethys (1062 kilometers, 660 miles across) is much closer than Titan (5150 kilometers, 3200 miles across) to Cassini. This view looks toward the Saturn-facing side of Titan and toward the area between the trailing hemisphere and anti-Saturn side of Tethys. Saturn is out of frame, far to the left.

The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on July 14, 2011. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 3.2 million kilometers (2 million miles) from Titan and at a Sun-Titan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 18 degrees. Image scale is 19 kilometers (12 miles) per pixel on Titan. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.9 million kilometers (1.2 million miles) from Tethys and at a Sun-Tethys-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 18 degrees. Image scale is 11 kilometers (7 miles) per pixel on Tethys.

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, and

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI
Released: August 8, 2011 (PIA 12778)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
NeKto (Sep 5, 2011 at 3:09 PM):
i keep coming back to this image. if we did not know the context, the easiest interpretation would be that the smaller object is a satellite of the larger. But we know that isn't the case. it keeps me thinking of all the background information that goes into extracting science from the images we receive. then again, i just like this picture.
Iapetus Monolith (Aug 26, 2011 at 1:39 PM):
Wouldn't it be artistically and scientifically amazing in colour!
NeKto (Aug 9, 2011 at 10:03 AM):
Thank you, Captain.
carolyn (CICLOPS) (Aug 9, 2011 at 8:15 AM):
NeKto: Very well said!
NeKto (Aug 8, 2011 at 11:44 AM):
a scientist who cannot apreciate the art of this image cannot feel. an artist who cannot apreciate the science of this image cannot think.
as a species, we need to be able to do both!
for me this makes the day better.