The “Front” Side of Tethys

This is a color image of Saturn’s moon Tethys I made from raw images acquired by Cassini on Feb. 1, 2017 in visible-light color channels. It shows the moon’s sunlit leading side—the face that aims in the direction that it moves in its orbit around Saturn. (Click image for a larger version.) While this icy moon is…

Soar Over the Surface of Tethys with Cassini

On Nov. 11, 2015, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft passed relatively closely by Saturn’s moon Tethys, one of the ringed planet’s larger icy satellites. The animation above was made from 29 raw images acquired with Cassini’s narrow-angle camera as it passed by; you can see part of the incredibly cratered and ancient surface of this 662 mile (1,065 km) wide…

Dawn Finds Similarities Between Ceres and Saturn’s Moons

Around 600 miles wide, covered in craters and cliffs, a composition of rock and water ice… these are descriptions of both several of Saturn’s moons and the dwarf planet Ceres, based on recent observations by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft. New topographical maps show that, in terms of surface features anyway, Ceres shares similarities with Saturn’s icy…

Mighty Melanthius

The 662-mile-wide Tethys is one of the most heavily cratered worlds in the solar system, tied with sister moons Rhea and Dione. In this recent raw image captured by Cassini on April 14, we can see some of the moon’s larger craters, including Melanthius with its enormous central peak.

A Little Pas de Deux: Tethys and Dione

Saturn’s moon Tethys, its giant Odysseus crater in plain view, passes in front of of the slightly darker Dione in this animation made from several raw images acquired by Cassini earlier this month. Pretty cool!

Ride Along With Rhea

Assembled from 29 raw images taken by the Cassini orbiter on Monday, April 25, this animation brings us along an orbital ride with Rhea as it crosses Saturn’s nighttime face, the planet’s shadow cast across the ringplane. Sister moons Dione and Tethys travel the opposite lane in the background, eventually appearing to sink into Saturn’s…

Tethys and Saturn

    660-mile-wide Tethys orbits in front of Saturn and the rings in this image from Cassini, taken on March 8, 2011. The rings cast their shadows onto the Saturn’s southern equatorial cloudtops as the planet continues moving into its summer season. The 155-mile-wide Melanthius Crater can be seen near Tethys’ south pole. A smaller…

Dione and Tethys in Passing

Two of Saturn’s moons pass each other from Cassini’s perspective on December 6, 2010, in this animation compiled from 70 raw image files. This was more an experiment in using iMovie HD to create an animation from a lot of individual images than anything else…I didn’t take the time to clean up the specks and…

Ice World

662-mile-wide Tethys, as seen by Cassini on March 3, 2010. Part of the 1200-mile-long Ithaca Chasma can be seen on its western edge, running north to south. With a density .97 times that of liquid water, Tethys is almost completely made of ice. Image has been adjusted to bring out surface details. Image: NASA/JPL/Space Science…