Superb Janus
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Superb Janus

November 3, 2006

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 a 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.

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