Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty
Blogs

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Cassini Captures Its First Image of Saturn

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

01-11-2002 12:00 CST

Topics: pretty pictures, Cassini, Titan, mission status, Saturn's moons, Saturn

The Cassini spacecraft has captured its first image of its target planet, Saturn.

Cassini's first view of Saturn and Titan

NASA / JPL / SSI

Cassini's first view of Saturn and Titan
Taken on October 21, 2002 as part of an engineering test of the camera system, the image clearly shows the planet Saturn, its ring system, and the dark Cassini division between the brighter inner rings and darker outer rings. The image is a color composite of three taken by the narrow-angle camera through different filters, showing the colors of Saturn approximately as the human eye would see them. The spacecraft was 285 million kilometers away from the planet, nearly twice the distance between the Sun and Earth, when this image was captured.

Also visible as a bright dot in the upper left of the image is Titan, Saturn's largest moon. In order to make Titan more visible in this image, its brightness was increased relative to the planet's brightness by a factor of 3. Although Titan is the second largest moon in the Solar System (smaller only than Jupiter's moon Ganymede and larger than the planets Mercury and Pluto), at Cassini's distance from the Saturn system the giant moon spans only slightly more than one pixel of this image.

As of November 1, 2002, Cassini was traveling at almost 30 kilometers per second (18 miles per second) toward its rendezvous with Saturn. The spacecraft will enter orbit around Saturn on July 1, 2004.

 
See other posts from November 2002

 

Or read more blog entries about: pretty pictures, Cassini, Titan, mission status, Saturn's moons, Saturn

Comments:

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

Essential Advocacy

Our Advocacy Program provides each Society member a voice in the process.

Funding is critical. The more we have, the more effective we can be, translating into more missions, more science, and more exploration.

Donate

Featured Images

NGC 4100
The Flaming Star Nebula (IC 405)
LDN 604 and GGD 30
Schiaparelli backshell and parachute landing location from HiRISE in color
More Images

Featured Video

The Planetary Post - Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot

Watch Now

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join The Planetary Society

Let’s explore the cosmos together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!