Dec 16, 2015

Picture of the Day: Cassini Captures Saturn Moons in Perfect Alignment with Rings

Cassini Captures Saturn Moons in Perfect Alignment with Rings

 

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured this incredible view of Saturn moons, Enceladus and Tethys, in perfect alignment with the planet’s rings. NASA adds:

Since the two moons are not only aligned, but also at relatively similar distances from Cassini, the apparent sizes in this image are a good approximation of the relative sizes of Enceladus (313 miles or 504 kilometers across) and Tethys (660 miles or 1,062 kilometers across).
 
This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from 0.34 degrees below the ring plane. The image was taken in red light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Sept. 24, 2015. The image was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.3 million miles (2.1 million kilometers) from Enceladus. Image scale on Enceladus is 7 miles (12 kilometers) per pixel. Tethys was at a distance of 1.6 million miles (2.6 million kilometers) with a pixel scale of 10 miles (16 kilometers) per pixel. [source]

 

Believe it or not, there are 62 moons with confirmed orbits around Saturn, 53 of which have names and only 13 of which have diameters larger than 50 kilometers.

Particularly notable among Saturn’s moons are Titan, the second-largest moon (after Jupiter’s Ganymede) in the Solar System, with a nitrogen-rich Earth-like atmosphere and a landscape including hydrocarbon lakes and dry river networks; and Enceladus, which is seemingly similar in chemical makeup to comets, emits jets of gas and dust and may harbor liquid water under its south pole region. [source]

 

via NASA

 

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