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Two of Saturn's small moons orbiting beyond the planet's rings

Published by Matt on Sun May 9, 2010 11:00 am via: NASA JPL
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Two of Saturn’s small moons can be seen orbiting beyond the planet’s thin F ring in this Cassini spacecraft image.

Two of Saturn's small moons can be seen orbiting beyond the planet's thin F ring in this Cassini spacecraft image.  Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Two of Saturn's small moons can be seen orbiting beyond the planet's thin F ring in this Cassini spacecraft image. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Pandora (81 kilometers, or 50 miles across) is on the left, and Epimetheus (113 kilometers, or 70 miles across) is on the right. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane. Both moons are closer to Cassini than are the rings. Pandora is slightly closer to Cassini than Epimetheus here.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Nov. 23, 2009. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.3 million kilometers (808,000 miles) from Pandora and Epimetheus. 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 operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

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