CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Tiny Tethys

Tethys may not be tiny by normal standards, but when it is captured alongside Saturn, it can't help but seem pretty small.

Even Saturn's rings appear to dwarf Tethys (660 miles, 1062 kilometers across), which is in the upper left of the image, although scientists believe the moon to be many times more massive than the entire ring system combined.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 18 degrees below the ringplane. The image was taken in green light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Aug. 19, 2012.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.5 million miles (2.4 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 63 degrees. Image scale is 86 miles (138 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, and

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Released: November 26, 2012 (PIA 14636)
Image/Caption Information
  Tiny Tethys
PIA 14636

Avg Rating: 9.78/10

Full Size 1024x1024:
PNG 312 KB

Alliance Member Comments
NeKto (Nov 27, 2012 at 7:58 AM):
Heck, Tethys is dwarfed by one circular cloud formation in the southern hemisphere. i can just imagine if we had a storm with a larger diameter than our moon. on Saturn, a storm with a diameter larger than Titan might be just medium sized.
what a system!