Stunning New Cassini Image: A Quartet of Moons

by Paul Scott Anderson on October 24, 2011

Titan, Dione, Pandora and Pan pose for Cassini's cameras along with Saturn's rings, seen nearly edge-on in this view. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

The Cassini spacecraft has sent back yet another jaw-dropping image (just one of thousands now!) of four of Saturn’s moons posing around and inside the giant planet’s rings.

And I agree with Cassini imaging team lead Carolyn Porco who said on Twitter of this image: “You’d have to be dead to tire of such magnificent vistas of alien worlds. Eerie Titan, the rings, Pan & Pandora. Glory!”

 Titan is the largest in the background, and also the largest moon at 5,150 kilometres (3,200 miles) across, with Dione in front of it, which is 1,123 kilometres (698 miles) in diameter. Just to the right of the edge of the rings is Pandora, which is only about 81 kilometres (50 miles) in diameter. Tiny little Pan, only about 28 kilometres (17 miles) across, can just barely be seen as a speck inside the Encke Gap of the A ring on the left side of the image (look closely!).

Another amazing natural montage showing the alien beauty of the worlds in the Saturnian system. The full-size image can be seen here.


Paul Scott Anderson is a freelance space writer with a life-long passion for space exploration and astronomy and has been a long-time member of The Planetary Society. He currently writes for Universe Today and His own blog The Meridiani Journal is a chronicle of planetary exploration.

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