Contrasting Moons of Saturn

Published on March 2, 2016 at 12 p.m. by Christina Moraitis  
Tethys and Janus (and Saturn's Rings)
Tethys and Janus (and Saturn's Rings)
Take a look at Tethys and Janus, two of Saturn's moons, on the sunlit side of Saturn's rings! Tethys, the larger, round moon in the foreground, is about 660 miles across. It has chasms and smooth pains along with some mysterious arc-shaped features. Janus, the smaller, potato shaped moon in the background, is about 111 miles across. The reason why Janus is shaped so asymmetrically is because it is not large enough for gravity to overcome the tensile strength of the rock to make it spherical like Tethys (compressing and distributing the mass so that the gravitational force is evenly distributed throughout). This image was taken about a week ago by the Cassini spacecraft from about 28,000 miles out from Tethys. #GetExcitedSU