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One of Saturn’s strange co-orbital moons, Epimetheus, was captured by Cassini in this view. Irregularly shaped Epimetheus occasionally swaps orbits with nearby Janus (see PIA06603), and both moons play a role in maintaining the outer edge of Saturn’s bright A ring. Epimetheus is 116 kilometers (72 miles) across.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Jan. 22, 2005, at a distance of approximately 2.5 million kilometers (1.6 million miles) from Epimetheus and at a Sun-Epimetheus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 90 degrees. Resolution in the image is 15 kilometers (9 miles) per pixel. The image has been contrast-enhanced to aid visibility.
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 mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute