CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Little Moons

The irregularly shaped moon Janus (179 kilometers, 111 miles across) and the small ring moon Atlas (30 kilometers, 19 miles across) had just emerged from the darkness of Saturn's shadow when Cassini caught this view of the two moons.

The bright A ring is largely overexposed in this view, but several other ring details are nicely visible. The image shows two bright regions within the B ring (at right), ringlets of material within the dark, narrow Encke Gap and kinks in the F ring.

North on Saturn is tilted toward upper left. This view is from Cassini's vantage point beneath the ringplane. It is notable that, as Saturn orbits the Sun, its shadow has been steadily creeping farther out along the ringplane and now extends beyond the F ring.

The image was taken in visible light with the narrow angle camera on January 26, 2005, from a distance of approximately 3.2 million kilometers (2 million miles) from Janus and at a Sun-Janus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 81 degrees. The image scale is 19 kilometers (12 miles) per pixel.

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: March 11, 2005 (PIA 06603)
Image/Caption Information
  Little Moons
PIA 06603

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