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

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Pretty picture: Saturn, a big moon, and a teeny one

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

09-01-2012 11:23 CST

Topics: pretty pictures, Cassini, Titan, amateur image processing, Saturn's small moons, Saturn's moons, Saturn, Saturn's rings

Here's a lovely recent view from Cassini of Saturn with its largest moon (Titan) and one of its teeny ringmoons (Prometheus, which is a little dot at the top of the rings on the right). The rings cast shadows on Saturn's southern hemisphere. The B ring casts a much darker shadow than the A ring because much of the B ring is packed so densely with large particles that it is opaque to sunlight. The A ring casts a paler shadow because its particles are separated enough that it's translucent. The color looks a bit monochromatic because it's only emulating true color -- the two images used to compose it were taken through filters in infrared wavelengths.

Saturn, Titan, and Prometheus

NASA / JPL / SSI / color composite by Gordan Ugarkovic

Saturn, Titan, and Prometheus
Cassini captured this view of Saturn with Titan and Prometheus with its wide-angle camera on January 5, 2011 at about 08:00 UTC. Titan is on the far side of Saturn from Cassini, more than 1,800,000 kilometers away; Prometheus is much closer, only about 500,000 kilometers away. The different distances exaggerate Prometheus' size with respect to Titan. In fact, Titan is roughly 30 times Prometheus' diameter.

With this post I'm back from vacation, and more importantly, the kid is back in school, so I'm now ready for 2012 to begin! Stay tuned for a great year of science, news, and pretty pictures from across the solar system!

See other posts from January 2012


Or read more blog entries about: pretty pictures, Cassini, Titan, amateur image processing, Saturn's small moons, Saturn's moons, Saturn, Saturn's rings


Leave a Comment:

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

Blog Search

Planetary Defense

An asteroid or comet headed for Earth is the only large-scale natural disaster we can prevent. Working together to fund our Shoemaker NEO Grants for astronomers, we can help save the world.


Featured Images

Jupiter from Juno at Perijove #4
Jupiter in approximate true color during Juno perijove 4
More Images

Featured Video

Class 9: Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune

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!