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Saturnian trifecta: The planet, its rings and a moon

Enlarge Image credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute MORE IMAGES

On November 8, the Cassini spacecraft snapped this photo of Rhea, Saturn's second largest moon, against a backdrop of the gas giant planet and its famed rings. The spacecraft has returned countless striking images since it arrived at Saturn in 2004, but it continues to carry out exploratory science, as well.

Less than a week before this snapshot was taken, Cassini plunged through a misty plume spewing from the south pole of Enceladus, another Saturnian moon. During that November 2 flyby, designed to gather data about the mysterious plume's composition, the spacecraft buzzed Enceladus at a distance of roughly 100 kilometers. For comparison, Cassini was nearly two million kilometers from Rhea when the image above was captured.

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