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A couple of Saturn’s moons orbit beyond four of the planet’s rings in this image.
Starting from the top right of the picture are the C ring, B ring, A ring, thin F ring, the small moon Pandora (81 kilometers, or 50 miles across) and, near the middle of the image, the moon Enceladus (504 kilometers, or 313 miles across).
The rings are closest to the Cassini spacecraft in this image. The moons are farther away. The part of the C ring visible in the upper right of the image is about 350,000 kilometers (220,000 miles) away from the spacecraft. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 440,000 kilometers (270,000 miles) from Pandora and approximately 540,000 kilometers (336,000 miles) from Enceladus.
This view looks toward the southern, unilluminated side of the rings from about 5 degrees below the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Dec. 25, 2009. Scale on Enceladus is 32 kilometers (20 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
Image Addition Date: 2010-03-04