Enceladus and Rhea

Rhea passes behind Enceladus: click to play

In another stately pas de deux as seen from the point of view of the Cassini spacecraft, moons Rhea and Enceladus slip past each other in their eternal travels around Saturn. This animation is made up of 20 raw images from Cassini, taken on November 15, level-adjusted and rotated 90º clockwise.

Enceladus is about to get another close look as well….on Saturday, November 21, Cassini will perform its eighth flyby of the moon, making a visual reconnaissance of the south pole and its fractured terrain where the moon’s icy jets eminate from. It will then turn its attention to Rhea…I’m looking forward to some great images from this upcoming flyby! Stay tuned.

Edited 11/18: a similar animation by Emily Lakdawalla of The Planetary Society says the larger moon above is Rhea. I believe her expertise over my uneducated guess. 😉 I always have a hard time telling those two apart, especially at higher phase angles.

Raw images: NASA/JPL/SSI. Animation: J. Major.

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