CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Looking Up to the Giant

Thanks to the illumination angle, Mimas (right) and Dione (left) appear to be staring up at a giant Saturn looming in the background.

Although certainly large enough to be noticeable, moons like Mimas (246 miles or 396 kilometers across) and Dione (698 miles or 1123 kilometers across) are tiny compared to Saturn (75,400 miles or 120,700 kilometers across). Even the enormous Titan 3,200 miles or 5,150 kilometers across) is dwarfed by the giant planet.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about one degree of the ringplane. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on May 27, 2015 using a spectral filter which preferentially admits wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 728 nanometers.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 600,000 miles (about one million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 85 degrees. Image scale is 38 miles (61 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: August 3, 2015 (PIA 18331)
Image/Caption Information
  Looking Up to the Giant
PIA 18331

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Alliance Member Comments
NeKto (Aug 7, 2015 at 5:52 AM):
i get a notion of the scale of what a "Full Saturn" must look like from the night sky of Dione, Mimas or Enceladus from this image.