Sunday, December 25, 2011

A view of Saturn and its Rings, Enceladus and Epimetheus!

A view of Saturn and its Rings, Enceladus and Epimetheus!
Click on the image for full resolution

A pair of Saturn's moons appear insignificant compared to the immensity of the planet in this Cassini spacecraft view along the terminator where day transitions to night. The larger moon Enceladus (504 kilometers, or 313 miles across) is also on the left, just a bit closer to the center of the image. Epimetheus (113 kilometers, or 70 miles across) appears as a tiny black speck on the far left of the image, left of Enceladus, just below the thin line of the rings. The rings cast wide shadows on the southern hemisphere of the planet. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Nov. 4, 2011 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.2 million kilometers (746,000 miles) from Saturn and roughly 1 million kilometers (600,000 miles) from Enceladus and Epimetheus. Image scale is about 75 kilometers (47 miles) per pixel on Saturn, 60 kilometers (37 miles) per pixel on Enceladus and 66 kilometers (41 miles) per pixel on Epimetheus.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

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