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The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

A gaggle of moons

Filed under Enceladus, amateur image processing, Rhea, Saturn's small moons, best of, Saturn's moons, many worlds, explaining image processing, Mimas, Saturn's rings

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A gaggle of moons Cassini caught five moons at the edge of Saturn's ring system in this natural color photo from July 29, 2011. From left to right the moons are Janus, Pandora, Enceladus, Mimas, and Rhea.

NASA / JPL / SSI / color composite by Emily Lakdawalla

Here's an animated gif showing how the moons were moving with respect to each other at the time the photo was taken.

Five moons simulation, July 29, 2011

SETI Institute / Emily Lakdawalla

Five moons simulation, July 29, 2011
A simulated view from the Rings Node Saturn Viewer through Cassini's Narrow-Angle Camera on July 29, 2011, when five moons passed through the field of view. Cassini took a "Kodak Moment" shot of all five at about 14:53:00, centered on Enceladus. The animation is sped up to 120 times actual speed.

And here's a photo showing an intermediate step in the processing of this image.

A gaggle of moons (intermediate processing step)

NASA / JPL / SSI / color composite by Emily Lakdawalla

A gaggle of moons (intermediate processing step)
Red, green, and blue-filter images taken by Cassini on July 29, 2011 were aligned on the ansa of Saturn's rings, which appears its proper yellowish color. But the motions of the five moons between the acquisition of the three pictures cause them to spread out across the different color channels.

Original image data dated on or about July 29, 2011.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. For uses not allowed by that license, contact us to request publication permission from the copyright holder: Emily Lakdawalla


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