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Cassini Captures The Latest Family Portrait Of Saturn's Sister Moons

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

We’ve been loving the pictures that the Cassini Spacecraft has been beaming back of Saturn and its various moons: this latest one is a gorgeous portrait of Rhea and Tethys.


The picture was taken back in October with the spacecraft’s narrow-angle camera:

The two moons appear close together here, but Tethys was about 220,000 miles (360,000 kilometers) farther away from Cassini when the image was captured — nearly the distance from Earth to our moon. Thus, the view does not accurately reflect the bodies’ relative sizes.

The image was obtained at a distance of approximately 708,000 miles (1.14 million kilometers) from Rhea. Image scale on Rhea is 4 miles (7 kilometers) per pixel. Tethys was 930,000 miles (1.5 million kilometers) away during this observation and has a pixel scale of 6 miles (9 kilometers) per pixel.


NASA noted that each feature in this picture are connected: Cassini, named for astronomer Giovanni Cassini, discovered both moons: Rhea on December 23, 1672 and Tethys on March 21st, 1684.


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