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Saturn’s brilliant rings are accompanied here by a pack of small moons.
Visible in this view, from lower left to center right are Mimas (397 kilometers, or 247 miles across), Janus (181 kilometers, or 113 miles across), Pandora (84 kilometers, or 52 miles across) and Prometheus (102 kilometers, or 63 miles across). The narrow F ring lies between the latter two, which are its “shepherd moons.”
This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 14 degrees above the ringplane. The planet’s night side is visible through the rings at left. Saturn’s shadow stretches across the ringplane above center.
The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on April 29, 2007 at a distance of approximately 1.9 million kilometers (1.2 million miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 108 kilometers (67 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 operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute