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Three Of Saturn's Moons Captured In One Image

First Posted: Jan 06, 2016 12:07 PM EST

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured three Saturnian moons in just one image. The image appears to show more of what looks like a pair of Saturnian satellites, but it is actually a trio upon close inspection, according to a news release.

The Cassini spacecraft captured Enceladus at a distance of 313 miles (504 km) across above the rings and Rhea at a distance of 949 miles (1,527 km) across below. The relatively small dot of Atlas, at 19 miles (30 km) across, can be viewed as well just above and to the left of Rhea, and also above the thin line of Saturn's F ring.

The view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 0.34 degrees below the ring plane. This image was taken during visible light using the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Sept. 24, 2015.

The view of the three Saturnian moons was captured at a distance of about 1.8 million miles (2.8 million km) from Rhea, and the image scale on Rhea is approximately 10 miles (16 km) per pixel. Enceladus' distance was about 1.3 million miles (2.1 million km) for a scale of 5 miles (8 km) per pixel. The distance to Atlas was 1.5 million miles (2.4 million km) for an image scale at Atlas of 9 miles (14 km) per pixel, according to a news release. 

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