Published on Apr 16, 2017
Saturn's adorable UFO-shaped moon, Atlas, gets a close-up
This raw, unprocessed image of Saturn's moon, Atlas, was taken on April 12, 2017, by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The flyby had a close-approach distance of about 7,000 miles (11,000 kilometers).
These images are the closest ever taken of Atlas and will help to characterize its shape and geology. Atlas (19 miles, or 30 kilometers across) orbits Saturn just outside the A ring -- the outermost of the planet's bright, main rings.
Additional raw images from Cassini are available at: https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/galleries...
Can a moon be cute? If you're a tiny Saturn moon that resembles a flying saucer, the answer is "Yes!"