Friday, May 6, 2022

A snowman floating in space? Or maybe not?

At first glance it is not immediate to understand what we are observing, since the perspective of this image is very misleading.

This photo taken by the Cassini spacecraft shows Dione and Rhea, two moons of Saturn, perfectly aligned with each other.

The really curious aspect of this photo is that the two moons appear to be the same size. In reality Dione has a diameter of 1120 km, while Rhea is 1530 km. They appear the same by pure chance given that the two bodies were at different distances from the probe, Dione at 1.1 million km and Rhea 500 thousand km farther away.

Credit: NASA, JPL, SSI.

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