CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
In, Around, Beyond Rings

A quartet of Saturn's moons, from tiny to huge, surround and are embedded within the planet's rings in this Cassini composition.

Saturn's largest moon, Titan, is in the background of the image, and the moon's north polar hood is clearly visible. See PIA08137 to learn more about that feature on Titan (5150 kilometers, 3200 miles across). Next, the wispy terrain on the trailing hemisphere of Dione (1123 kilometers, 698 miles across) can be seen on that moon which appears just above the rings at the center of the image. See PIA10560 and PIA06163 to learn more about about Dione's wisps. Saturn's small moon Pandora (81 kilometers, 50 miles across) orbits beyond the rings on the right of the image. Finally, Pan (28 kilometers, 17 miles across) can be seen in the Encke Gap of the A ring on the left of the image.

This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane.

The image was taken in visible blue light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Sept. 17, 2011. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 2.1 million kilometers (1.3 million miles) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 27 degrees. Image scale is 13 kilometers (8 miles) per pixel on Dione.

The Cassini Solstice 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 Solstice Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI
Released: October 24, 2011 (PIA 14579)
Image/Caption Information
  In, Around, Beyond Rings
PIA 14579

Avg Rating: 9.82/10

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Alliance Member Comments
NeKto (Oct 26, 2011 at 12:21 PM):
i guess i'm not the only one who thought this was well composed. another APOD image. i am not surprized.
NeKto (Oct 24, 2011 at 11:34 AM):
Great photogaphic comosition. Either our robot friend out there has one heck of an eye, or you folks down here are doing one heck of a job pointing the camera. Another example of outstanding artistry.
stowaway (Oct 24, 2011 at 10:00 AM):
Coolest picture yet!
Red_dragon (Oct 24, 2011 at 7:51 AM):
Jaw dropping image. Keep this superb stuff coming as before.