CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Beside a Giant
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Saturn's largest moon, Titan, looks small seen to the right of the gas giant in this Cassini view.

Titan (3200 miles, 5150 kilometers across) is in the upper right. Saturn's rings appear across the top of the image, and they cast a series of shadows onto the planet across the middle of the image.

The moon Prometheus (53 miles, 86 kilometers across) appears as a tiny speck above the rings in the far upper right of the image. The shadow cast by Prometheus can be seen as a small black speck on the planet on the far left of the image, between the shadows cast by the main rings and the thin F ring. The shadow of the moon Pandora also can be seen on the planet south of the shadows of all the rings, below the center of the image. Pandora is not shown here.

This view looks toward the southern, unilluminated side of the rings from about 1 degree below the ringplane.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Jan. 5, 2012 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 426,000 miles (685,000 kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 20 degrees. Image scale is 23 miles (37 kilometers) per pixel on Saturn.

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 http://ciclops.org, http://www.nasa.gov/cassini and http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Released: February 27, 2012 (PIA 14597)
Image/Caption Information
  Beside a Giant
PIA 14597

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Alliance Member Comments
NeKto (Feb 27, 2012 at 9:40 AM):
Titan is not a small object. but this really gives a sense of scale. what a fascinating system.

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