October 26, 2006 Full-Res: PIA08296
The Cassini spacecraft provides this dramatic portrait of Janus against
the cloud-streaked backdrop of Saturn.
Like many small bodies in the solar system, Janus (181 kilometers, or
113 miles across) is potato-shaped with many craters, and the moon has
surface that looks as though it has been smoothed by some process. Like
Pandora (see Pandora’s Color Close-up
and Telesto (see A Closer Look at Telesto
Janus may be covered with a mantle of fine dust-sized, icy material.
The image was taken using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of
infrared light centered at 930 nanometers. The view was acquired with
the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Sept. 25, 2006 at a
distance of approximately 145,000 kilometers (90,000 miles) from Janus
and at a Sun-Janus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 62 degrees. North on
Saturn is up. Image scale is 871 meters (2,858 feet) per pixel.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the
European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion
Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in
Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate,
Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were
designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center
is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute