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News Release Archive:

News Release 242 of 958

March 17, 2009 09:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2009-12

Quadruple Saturn Moon Transit Snapped by Hubble

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Image: HST Image of Saturn Moon Transits

HST Image of Saturn Moon TransitsSTScI-PRC2009-12b

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ABOUT THIS IMAGE:

This sequence of images captures the parade of several of Saturn's moons transiting the face of the gas giant planet. This is a rare event because the rings are tilted edge on to Earth every 15 years. The top frame captures the giant moon Titan and its shadow near Saturn's northern polar hood. Tiny Mimas and its shadow have just entered the left limb of Saturn, slightly above the rings. To the far left off the disk, Dione, the brightest of the icy moons in this view – and Enceladus, fainter and farther to the left – can easily be seen just above the rings. In the center frame, Dione and Enceladus can be seen near the western limb of Saturn, while Titan's shadow is off the limb, and Mimas is on the right most limb, its shadow also now off the limb. In the bottom frame, Dione and its shadow are centered above Enceladus and its shadow. Titan is now off the right limb. This picture sequence was taken with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 on February 24, 2009, when Saturn was at a distance of roughly 775 million miles (1.25 billion kilometers) from Earth. Hubble can see details as small as 190 miles (300 km) across on Saturn.

Object Name: Saturn

Image Type: Astronomical/Annotated

Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Acknowledgment: M.H. Wong (STScI/UC Berkeley) and C. Go (Philippines)

NEWS RELEASE IMAGES

The above montage includes these images:

HST Image of Saturn: February 24, 2009 12:12 UT Image Type: Astronomical HST Image of Saturn: February 24, 2009 12:12 UT HST Image of Saturn: February 24, 2009 14:25 UT Image Type: Astronomical HST Image of Saturn: February 24, 2009 14:25 UT HST Image of Saturn: February 24, 2009 15:27 UT Image Type: Astronomical HST Image of Saturn: February 24, 2009 15:27 UT

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