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On Either Side of Saturns Rings

Published by Matt on Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:15 pm via: NASA JPL
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A pair of small moons join Saturn’s second largest moon in this Cassini spacecraft image spotlighting Rhea in front of the rings.

A pair of small moons join Saturn's second largest moon in this Cassini spacecraft image spotlighting Rhea in front of the rings. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

A pair of small moons join Saturn's second largest moon in this Cassini spacecraft image spotlighting Rhea in front of the rings. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Rhea (1,528 kilometers, or 949 miles across) is in the center foreground. Janus (179 kilometers, or 111 miles across) can be seen beyond the rings on the right of the image. Prometheus (86 kilometers, or 53 miles across) is visible orbiting between the main rings and the thin F ring on the left of the image.

Lit terrain seen on Rhea is on the area between that moon’s trailing hemisphere and anti-Saturn side. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane.

The image was taken in visible red light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on March 28, 2010. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.9 million kilometers (1.2 million miles) from Rhea and at a Sun-Rhea-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 105 degrees. Janus and Prometheus are both about 2.5 million kilometers (1.6 million miles) away. Scale is 11 kilometers (7 miles) per pixel on Rhea and about 15 kilometers (9 miles) per pixel on Janus and Prometheus.

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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