CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Epimetheus Falls Behind

Epimetheus Falls Behind
PIA 08178

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  Janus and Epimetheus continue to separate, following their orbital swap in January 2006. Until 2010, Janus will remain the innermost of the pair, whose orbits around Saturn are separated by only about 50 kilometers (31 miles) on average.

Epimetheus (113 kilometers, 70 miles across) appears just right of the bright A ring ansa, or edge, while Janus (179 kilometers, 111 miles across) is seen near upper right. (See PIA08170 for a closer view of these dancing moons.)

The faint F ring extends across the image; Janus appears directly between its near and far edges.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 16, 2006, at a distance of approximately 3.7 million kilometers (2.3 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 22 kilometers (14 miles) per pixel on Janus and Epimetheus.

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: May 16, 2006 (PIA 08178)
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