CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Quartet and Crescent

Quartet and Crescent
PIA 12718

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  Four of Saturn's moons join the planet for a well balanced portrait.

Saturn's largest moon, Titan (5150 kilometers, 3200 miles across), is in the lower left. Tethys (1062 kilometers, 660 miles across) is in the upper right. Although those moons appear to be above and below the rings from this vantage point, the moons actually orbit nearly within the ringplane.

The smaller moons Pandora and Epimetheus are barely visible here. Pandora (81 kilometers, 50 miles across) appears as a tiny speck on the extreme left, near the rings. Epimetheus (113 kilometers, 70 miles across) can be detected above the rings near the middle left of the image. To enhance visibility, Pandora and Epimetheus have been brightened by a factor of two relative to the planet, rings, Titan and Tethys.

This view looks toward the southern, unilluminated side of the rings from about 3 degrees below the ringplane.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on July 17, 2010 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 728 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 2.5 million kilometers (1.6 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 104 degrees. Image scale is 147 kilometers (92 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: September 10, 2010 (PIA 12718)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
trisfenn (Sep 10, 2010 at 1:11 PM):
it's just amazing
Red_dragon (Sep 10, 2010 at 7:21 AM):
Yet even another outstanding image. The trio Saturn-Tethys-Titan is amazing; it reminds me this other: