Nasa's Cassini Spacecraft Captures Triple Crescent Moon on Saturn

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Nasa's Cassini Spacecraft Captures Triple Crescent Moon on Saturn
Nasa's Cassini spacecraft, on a study mission to Saturn since 1997, has captured a rare triple crescent moons sighting on Saturn.

Saturn has nine named moons and as many as 53 natural satellites in its orbit.

As the multiple moons wax and wane in light, they create a mesmerising image. Such a triple crescent moon sighting was captured by Cassini in March, but has just now been released by Nasa.

Titan, the largest moon pictured, appears a bit fuzzy due to the cloud layers. The moon in the upper left-hand side is Rhea, which has a diameter about one-third the size of Titan. Rhea appears a bit bumpy due to its ice-covered craters.

The smallest crescent moon pictured is the minute Mimas, which is around 13 times smaller than Titan, and surface irregularities can be seen due to the moon's violent history.

The photograph was taken using only visible light and a narrow-angle lens from the Cassini spacecraft. It captures what could be seen with naked eyes, if given the chance.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.2 million miles (2.0 million kilometres) from Titan. Image scale at Titan is 75 miles (121 kilometers) per pixel. Mimas was 1.9 million miles (3.1 million kilometres) away with an image scale of 11.4 miles (18.4 kilometres) per pixel. Rhea was 2.2 million miles (3.5 million kilometres) away with an image scale of 13.1 miles (21.1 kilometer) per pixel.

Written with inputs from IANS

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