By Phil Plait | December 29, 2009 12:45 pm

I don’t have a whole lot to add to this amazing shot from Cassini of Saturn’s moon Rhea reappearing from behind the giant moon Titan:


[Click to entitanate.]

Except: coooool. Titan is over three times the size of Rhea, and Rhea was more than twice as far from Cassini when this was taken, making Rhea look even smaller in comparison. Also, check out how the high-altitude haze in Titan’s atmosphere isn’t the same height all the way around the moon. Near the top you can see they poof up higher. If you look closely, can you see the Enterprise?

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Pretty pictures
MORE ABOUT: Cassini, Rhea, Titan

Comments (28)

  1. magista

    Okay, is it bad that my first thought was ‘giant space boob’? (No, Phil, not you…) 😀

  2. BethK

    That seems to be what Phil had in mind. Still a cool picture.

  3. I love that picture! Only, I can’t see the Enterprise :/

  4. bigjohn756

    No, you cannot see the Enterprise, because, I was on the Enterprise when I took the picture.

  5. Whoah, I came here from my Google Reader feed to post exactly “giant space boob” too!

  6. Gavin Flower

    I felt that the picture was quite titillating _BEFORE_ I read the first comment!

  7. Mycroft

    That’s not real! We know there’s no such thing as Cassini. Phil simply photoshoped this pic out of a Jenny McCarthy playboy and is trying to pull the wool over our eyes. Bad Astronomer…bad!! 😛

  8. bigjohn756

    Don’t say ‘wool’ and Jenny McCarthy in the same sentence!

  9. Brian

    Aw, it’s shy! Don’t be frightened, little moon!

  10. Jason

    Giant space boob?

    I think someone needs a Girlfriend :)

    Its a very cool picture.
    NCC1701 A, B, C,D or NX-01?
    or.. wait I think I see it

  11. Nick

    When I saw this all I thought was:

    dunnnnn. dannnnnnnnn. dahnnnnnnnnnn.

    (bum-bom, bum-bom,bum-bom,bum-bom.)

    You know the rest.

  12. Gary Ansorge

    Our Titanian hydro-carbon industry is eagerly awaiting the arrival of Exxon-Mobil to assist us in developing our export industry. We hope to ship 23 trillion metric tons a year your way,,,

    Great pic! Reminds me of my ex-wife,,,

    GAry 7

  13. JB of Brisbane

    @Nick #11 – that whirring sound you hear is Richard Strauss spinning in his grave. But I see where you’re coming from.

  14. Michelle R

    You know, it’s hard to tell yourself that no, Titan is not out of focus. Just naturally fuzzy.

  15. Richard Carnes

    Looks like a black & white silouette of Pamela Anderson…

  16. It’s the Boob that ate Earth

  17. Inertially Guided

    Omigosh…it’s a cosmic Wardrobe Malfunction!

  18. Sean

    I thought a boob was a kind of bird. Oh, wait, that’s a t… um, nice haze!

  19. 16. MichaelL Says:

    It’s the Boob that ate Earth

    Ever see Woody Allen’s Everything You Wanted To Know About Sex But Were Afraid To Ask?


  20. entitanate – funny… When I look up the definition on Google, all references point back to you, Phil….

    Oh, yeah – nice picture!

  21. I thought I saw the Enterprise for a second, and then I realized it was just a spot on my laptop screen.

  22. Petrolonfire

    I thought Rhea was the Enterprise for a sec there! 😉

  23. Spectroscope

    Great picture – looks almost like a volcanic plume like on Io.

    Another “top ten picture of 2009” candidate if you do a second one after the year is up as you’ve hinted. 😉

    (Yes please sir I want some more! Actually, to be quite honest that first one didn’t really live up to my expectations, sorry BA. Oh & happy new year too!)

  24. Flying sardines

    @ 18. Sean Says:

    I thought a boob was a kind of bird. Oh, wait, that’s a t… um, nice haze!

    Actually, yes, *this* is a booby :

  25. Joey

    Be on the lookout for another, these things usually come in pairs!

  26. Ivan Smith

    I thought they usually come in first!


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