CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

A Quintet of Moons
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A quintet of Saturn's moons come together in Cassini's field of view for this portrait.

Janus (179 kilometers, 111 miles across) is on the far left. Pandora (81 kilometers, 50 miles across) orbits between the A ring and the thin F ring near the middle of the image. Brightly reflective Enceladus (504 kilometers, 313 miles across) appears above the center of the image. Saturn's second largest moon, Rhea (1528 kilometers, 949 miles across), is bisected by the right edge of the image. The smaller moon Mimas (396 kilometers, 246 miles across) can be seen beyond Rhea also on the right side of the image.

This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane. Rhea is closest to Cassini here. The rings are beyond Rhea and Mimas. Enceladus is beyond the rings.

The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on July 29, 2011. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.1 million kilometers (684,000 miles) from Rhea and 1.8 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Enceladus. Image scale is 7 kilometers (4 miles) per pixel on Rhea and 11 kilometers (7 miles) per pixel on Enceladus.

The Cassini Solstice Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. 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 was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. 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.

For more information about the Cassini Solstice Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI
Released: September 12, 2011 (PIA 14573)
Image/Caption Information
  A Quintet of Moons
PIA 14573

Avg Rating: 9.52/10

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Alliance Member Comments
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971 (Oct 23, 2011 at 4:52 PM):
bruno.thiery: Yes, you're right, it has got the sci-fi look.
bruno.thiery (Oct 9, 2011 at 3:16 AM):
Lots of wonderful features on this image.
It has the sci-fi look with all those many worlds in one single image.
But also its small surprises and trompe-l'oeil style.
With Rhea seeming to take the place of Saturn, and with the rings looking like they are taken from the unlit side, you really need to read the explanations to decipher it correctly.
Thanks Cassini imaging team, beautiful job again.
NeKto (Sep 23, 2011 at 9:48 AM):
OOOPS! my mistake. it wasn't APOD, it was the top of the "images" page at
i still enjoyed looking at it.
NeKto (Sep 22, 2011 at 12:48 PM):
another of our favorites makes APOD!
i stil like looking at this one, and so many others. great composition on this image!
Breitstar (Sep 14, 2011 at 9:43 PM):
So you ask yourself... does Carolyn ever get board with this job.... nope!
Breitstar (Sep 14, 2011 at 9:40 PM):
Sometimes you just run out of things to say when something like this is so lovely, captivating, inspiring...
NeKto (Sep 13, 2011 at 2:41 PM):
another image i just like looking at, over and over.
jmcgarry (Sep 12, 2011 at 2:42 PM):
Fabulous image, kudos to the Team! Instant new desktop wallpaper. Now I can pretend I'm on the Valley Forge. :-)
NeKto (Sep 12, 2011 at 1:17 PM):
thanks again, team.

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