Sure, you’ve seen a crescent moon from Earth, but I bet you’ve never seen three.
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured not just one but three crescent moons in a single photo. Saturn’s moons Titan, Mimas and Rhea all make an appearance in the new image released by NASA Monday.
Although each of the three moons looks like a crescent from Cassini’s perspective, Titan, Mimas and Rhea do have distinctive differences even when seen in this phase.
“Titan, the largest moon in this image, appears fuzzy because we only see its cloud layers,” NASA said in a Statement. “And because Titan’s atmosphere refracts light around the moon, its crescent ‘wraps’ just a little further around the moon than it would on an airless body.”
“Rhea (upper left) appears rough because its icy surface is heavily cratered,” the space agency added. “And a close inspection of Mimas (center bottom), though difficult to see at this scale, shows surface irregularities due to its own violent history.”
Cassini captured this image of the triple crescent on Mar. 25, 2015 when the spacecraft was about 1.2 million miles (2 million kilometers) from Titan, Saturn’s largest moon.
Mimas is sometimes called the “Death Star moon” because of a huge crater that makes it resemble the Star Wars world-destroying weapon. The surfaces of both Mimas and Rhea are pocked with craters from various impacts throughout history.
Cassini recently snapped another photo of one of Saturn’s moons in crescent form. The planet’s moon Dione shined as a sliver in an image taken during a close flyby of the moon earlier this month.
The Cassini mission launched to space in 1997 and arrived at Saturn in 2004. The spacecraft is expected to explore Saturn and its moons until 2017, at which point it is expected that the probe will run out of fuel and make a planned crash into Saturn’s atmosphere.