PIA18304: Janus the Jewel

Janus the Jewel


In reality, Janus and the rings both orbit Saturn and are only weakly connected to each other through their mutual gravitational tugs. At specific locations in the rings, these gravitational tugs result in orbital resonances, which lead to some beautiful waves being created in the rings. See PIA10452 for an example. Janus is 111 miles, or 179 kilometers, across.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 19 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Dec. 5, 2014.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.2 million miles (2.0 million kilometers) from Janus and at a Sun-Janus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 35 degrees. Image scale is 7 miles (12 kilometers) per pixel.

Background Info:

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and http://www.nasa.gov/cassini . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Janus Saturn, Sun
System Saturn
Target Type Satellite Planet, Sun
Mission Cassini-Huygens
Instrument Host Cassini Orbiter
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)
Detector Narrow Angle Camera
Extra Keywords Grayscale
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2015-02-16
Date in Caption 2014-12-05
Image Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA18304
Identifier PIA18304