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Three of Saturn’s moons crowd together off the left edge, or ansa, of Saturn’s rings.
Moons visible in this image: Rhea (1,528 kilometers, or 949 miles across), largest, near the center; Mimas (397 kilometers, or 247 miles across), smaller, beneath center; and Helene (32 kilometers, or 20 miles across), faintly visible above and to the right of Rhea. The brightness of Helene has been increased by a factor of 10 to aid visibility.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on March 7, 2005, at a distance of approximately 1.3 million kilometers (799,000 miles) from Saturn and using a combination of spectral filters sensitive to polarized infrared light centered at 1,001 nanometers (1.001 microns). The image scale is 8 kilometers (5 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 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