CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Worlds in Orbit

Worlds in Orbit
PIA 08161

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  Three of Saturn's moons are captured with the planet in this exquisite family portrait. At top, Saturn is bedecked with the shadows of its innermost rings.

Tethys (1,062 kilometers, 660 miles across) appears at lower right, closest to Cassini; Janus (179 kilometers, 111 miles across) and Mimas (396 kilometers, 246 miles across) are on the far side of the immense ringed planet. Mimas is just about to slip behind Saturn.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on March 13, 2006, at a distance of approximately 2.7 million kilometers (1.6 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale is about 17 kilometers (11 miles) per pixel on Janus and Mimas, and 14 kilometers (9 miles) per pixel on Tethys.

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: April 20, 2006 (PIA 08161)
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