Saturn’s peaceful beauty invites Cassini for a closer look in this natural color view, taken during the spacecraft’s approach to the planet. By this point in the approach sequence, Saturn was large enough that two narrow angle camera images were required to capture an end-to-end view of the planet, its delicate rings and several of its icy moons. The composite image is a 1x2 mosaic made of these images.
Moons visible in this mosaic: Epimetheus (113 kilometers, 70 miles across), Pandora (81 kilometers, 50 miles across) and Mimas (396 kilometers, 246 miles across) at left of Saturn; Prometheus (86 kilometers, 53 miles across), Janus (179 kilometers, 111 miles across) and Enceladus (504 kilometers, 313 miles across) at right of Saturn.
The images were taken on May 7, 2004 from a distance of 28.2 million kilometers (17.6 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 169 kilometers (105 miles) per pixel. Moons in the image have been brightened for visibility.
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 Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The imaging team consists of scientists from the US, England, France, and Germany. The imaging operations center and team lead (Dr. C. Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.