Atlas

The tiny Saturn moon Atlas. Image Credit:NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

The tiny Saturn moon Atlas. Image Credit:NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Nice! The Saturn moon Atlas, not one we often get to see. Atlas was discovered in 1980 thanks to the Voyager spacecraft and JPL employee Richard Terrile. As moons go Atlas is tiny being only around 30 km (18 miles) in diameter.

From the Cassini site:

The Cassini spacecraft captures a glimpse of the moon Atlas shortly after emerging from Saturn’s shadow. Although the sunlight at Saturn’s distance is feeble compared to that at the Earth, objects cut off from the Sun within Saturn’s shadow cool off considerably.

 

Scientists study how the moons around Saturn cool and warm as they enter and leave Saturn’s shadow to better understand the physical properties of Saturn’s moons.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 44 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Jan. 23, 2014.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.6 million miles (2.6 million kilometers) from Atlas and at a Sun-Atlas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 93 degrees. Image scale is 10 miles (16 kilometers) per pixel.

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