CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Big Obscures Small

Cassini captures a "mutual event" between Titan and Mimas in front of a backdrop of the planet's rings. This image was snapped shortly before Saturn's largest moon passed in front of and occulted the small moon Mimas, as seen from the spacecraft.

Mutual event observations such as this one, in which one moon passes close to or in front of another, help scientists refine their understanding of the orbits of Saturn's moons. See PIA11692 to watch a movie of a mutual event.

Lit terrain seen on Titan (5150 kilometers, 3200 miles across) is on the area between the trailing hemisphere and anti-Saturn side of the moon. On Mimas (396 kilometers, 246 miles across), the lit terrain is on the moon's Saturn-facing side.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane. Part of the rings are in the shadow of Saturn.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.1 million kilometers (684,000 miles) from Titan and 2.5 million kilometers (1.6 million miles) from Mimas. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Nov. 27, 2009. Scale on Titan is 7 kilometers (4 miles) per pixel. Scale on Mimas is 15 kilometers (9 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 17, 2010 (PIA 12551)
Image/Caption Information
  Big Obscures Small
PIA 12551

Avg Rating: 9.07/10

Full Size 1020x1020:
PNG 186 KB