Checked content

File:Methone PIA14633.jpg

Methone_PIA14633.jpg(448 × 384 pixels, file size: 35 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)


English: It's difficult not to think of an egg when looking at Saturn's moon Methone, seen here during a Cassini flyby of the small moon. The relatively smooth surface adds to the effect created by the oblong shape.

Small moons like Methone are not generally spherical in shape like the larger moons. Their small sizes means that they lack sufficient gravity to pull themselves into round shape. Scientists think that the elongated shapes of these moons may be a clue to how they formed.

Lit terrain seen here is on the leading side of Methone (2 miles, 3 kilometers across). North on Methone is up. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 20, 2012.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 3,000 miles (4,000 kilometers) from Methone and at a Sun-Methone-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 63 degrees. Scale in the original image was 88 feet (27 meters) per pixel. The image has been magnified by a factor of 2.

The Cassini Solstice Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. 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 was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team consists of scientists from the US, England, France, and Germany. The imaging operations centre and team lead (Dr. C. Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

The original NASA image has been modified by cropping and a further doubling of the linear pixel density.
Date 20 May 2012
Author NASA / JPL-Caltech / Space Science Institute


Public domain This file is in the public domain because it was solely created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that "NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted". (See Template:PD-USGov, NASA copyright policy page or JPL Image Use Policy.)
NASA logo.svg
  • Use of NASA logos, insignia and emblems are restricted per US law 14 CFR 1221.
  • The NASA website hosts a large number of images from the Soviet/ Russian space agency, and other non-American space agencies. These are not necessarily in the public domain.
  • Materials based on Hubble Space Telescope data may be copyrighted if they are not explicitly produced by the STScI. See also {{ PD-Hubble}} and {{ Cc-Hubble}}.
  • The SOHO (ESA & NASA) joint project implies that all materials created by its probe are copyrighted and require permission for commercial non-educational use.
  • Images featured on the Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) web site may be copyrighted.
The following pages on Schools Wikipedia link to this image (list may be incomplete):


Find out more

SOS Childrens Villages aims to make Wikipedia suitable for young learners. SOS Childrens Villages is famous for the love and shelter it brings to lone children, but we also support families in the areas around our Children's Villages, helping those who need us the most. Would you like to sponsor a child?