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The Cassini spacecraft observes a gathering of three moons near the rings of Saturn.
Largest in the scene, Mimas (397 kilometers, or 247 miles across) sits on the side of the rings nearer to Cassini. Oblong Epimetheus (116 kilometers, or 72 miles across) lies on the distant side of the narrow F ring. Less obvious is tiny Daphnis (7 kilometers, or 4.3 miles across), which is made easier to spot by the waves it creates in the edges of the narrow Keeler Gap. Daphnis appears directly below the eastern limb of Mimas.
This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about a degree above the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Oct. 3, 2007. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.6 million kilometers (1 million miles) from Mimas. Image scale is 10 kilometers (6 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