Two Moons That Pass in the Night

Illustration for article titled Two Moons That Pass in the Night

This image shows the rare sight of Saturn's moons Mimas and Pandora aligning in the night sky—and they couldn't look more different.

Seeing them both together makes you realise just how varied moons can be. Pandora, the smaller of the two—just 50 miles across—lacks the mass, and hence sufficient gravity, to pull itself into the neat, spherical shape of its sibling Mimas. Meanwhile Mimas looks rather like the Death Star.

This images was acquired with Cassini's narrow-angle camera, and each pixel represents 4 miles. The satellite was 690,000 miles from Mimas and 731,000 from Pandora at the time, and as you can probably guess, the lines across the image are Saturn's rings. [NASA]

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Alex de la Cruz

Night sky? Just because space is dark does not mean its night. The concept of day and night does not really apply when talking about planets other than Earth, specially from a point of view thats not actually on any planet. (I realize that its NASA that uses the term night, but its still incorrectly used.)