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Saturn: Looking Up to the Giant

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Posted August 5, 2015

Thanks to the illumination angle, Mimas (right) and Dione (left) appear to be staring up at a giant Saturn looming in the background.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Although certainly large enough to be noticeable, moons like Mimas (246 miles or 396 kilometers across) and Dione (698 miles or 1123 kilometers across) are tiny compared to Saturn (75,400 miles or 120,700 kilometers across). Even the enormous moon Titan (3,200 miles or 5,150 kilometers across) is dwarfed by the giant planet.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about one degree of the ring plane. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on May 27, 2015 using a spectral filter which preferentially admits wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 728 nanometers.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 634,000 miles (one million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 85 degrees. Image scale is 38 miles (61 kilometers) per pixel.

Source: NASA

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