CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
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Small Sidekicks
PIA 10584

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  At first glance, it seems Epimetheus is the lone moon orbiting Saturn in this image, but a closer inspection reveals a couple of companions in the rings.

Circling brightly outside the rings in the lower right of the image is Epimetheus (113 kilometers, 70 miles across). On the left of the image is tiny Pan (28 kilometers, 17 miles across), a small gray dot cutting through the Encke Gap of the outer A ring. Atlas (30 kilometers, 19 miles across) is an even fainter dot orbiting between the A ring and the thin F ring in the lower central part of the image.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 16 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Jan. 20, 2009. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1 million kilometers (669,000 miles) from Atlas and at a Sun-Atlas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 33 degrees. Image scale is 64 kilometers (40 miles) per pixel.

The Cassini Equinox 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 Equinox Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: February 23, 2009 (PIA 10584)
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