CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
When Moons Align

When Moons Align
PIA 07644

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  In a rare moment, Cassini captured this enduring portrait of a near-alignment of four of Saturn's restless moons. Timing is critical when trying to capture a view of multiple bodies, like this one. All four of the moons seen here were on the far side of the rings from the spacecraft when this image was taken; and about an hour later, all four had disappeared behind Saturn.

Seen here are Titan (5,150 kilometers, 3,200 miles across) and Dione (1,123 kilometers, 698 miles across) at bottom; Prometheus (86 kilometers, 53 miles across) hugs the rings at center; Telesto (25 kilometers, 16 miles across) is a mere speck in the darkness above center.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini narrow-angle camera on Oct. 17, 2005 at a distance of approximately 3.4 million kilometers (2.1 million miles) from Titan and 2.6 million kilometers (1.6 million miles) from Dione. The image scale is 16 kilometers (10 miles) per pixel on Dione and 21 kilometers (13 miles) per pixel on Titan.

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: December 2, 2005 (PIA 07644)
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