Moons of Three

The moons of Saturn are as beautiful as they are varied...

Saturn’s moons Dione and Titan lined up with the planet’s rings, seen here nearly edge-on, from the point of view of the Cassini spacecraft’s camera on September 17, 2011.

This is a composite of three raw images taken with Cassini’s red, green and blue visible-light clear filters.

Dione, 700 miles wide, is dwarfed by the much larger and further moon Titan, which is over 3,200 miles wide and wrapped in a thick opaque atmosphere.

Also in this image is the 12-mile-wide shepherd moon Pan, barely visible within the Encke Gap in the A ring, just below and to the left of Dione.

Cassini was about 1.33 million miles away from Dione when this view was acquired.

Credit: NASA / JPL / SSI. Edited by Jason Major.

See more scenes from Saturn on the Cassini Imaging Team’s website.


  1. IzaakMak says:

    What a stunning image, I can never get enough of Saturn, its rings, or its moons!


  2. seanleal says:

    Why did they move Dione? Compare it with the raw image, and they moved Dione about one moon-width closer to Titan.


    1. J. Major says:

      “They” (me) moved Dione (and some other elements subtly) so a color composite could be made. In order to see the color, three identical images need to overlay perfectly on top of each other in the red, green and blue color channels. Cassini took images in R, G and B, but between the acquisition of each image the positions of the moons changed relative to each other and Cassini. To bring everything together I had to do some repositioning in Photoshop. 🙂


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