CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Moons with Separate Paths

Moons with Separate Paths
PIA 07623

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  Saturn's expansive rings separate Tethys (1,062 kilometers, 660 miles across, at top) from Dione (1,123 kilometers, 698 miles across, below). Even in this distant view, it is easy to see that the moons' surfaces, and likely their evolutionary histories, are very different.

Both moons are on the far side of the rings in this scene, which shows their Saturn-facing hemispheres (terrain centered on 0 degrees longitude). The dark shadow across the rings is cast by Saturn's southern hemisphere.

The image was taken in visible light with the narrow angle camera on September 12, 2005, from a distance of approximately 2.4 million kilometers (1.5 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale is about 17 kilometers (11 miles) per pixel on the two moons.

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: November 3, 2005 (PIA 07623)
Image/Caption Information