Saturn and Four Moons (Roll over image for the moons' names)   HOME INDEX BACK NEXT

About every 14 years, the plane of Saturn's rings lines up exactly with the Earth, so we view them on edge. During all of 2009, the rings will be nearly edge-on, as seen in this image. Some of Saturn's subtle cloud bands are visible, as are four of its brightest moons. To Saturn's right, the moons are:

Dione (magnitude 10.4, diameter 1123 km)
Rhea (magnitude 9.7, diameter 1529 km)
Titan (magnitude 8.4, diameter 5151 km)

At the lower left, and very dim, is Iapetus (magnitude 10.8, diameter 1440 km). Saturn itself is 120,500 km in diameter.

Image details:  A mosaic that combines short exposures of Saturn and longer exposures of its moons, taken with a Meade LPI imager through a Meade 12” telescope at f/10. The image of Saturn is based on 200 exposures of 0.32 seconds each. The image of its moons is based on 100 exposures of 2 seconds each.

March 13, 2009