Janus And Epimetheus

On 21 January 2006 Janus and Epimetheus swapped orbits. Janus will occupy the low position until 2010. There is no danger of a collision during such exchanges, as the bodies can approach no closer than 15,000 kilometres. Revolution 21 began on 5 February with apoapsis at 68.2 planetary radii, which was the furthest that Cassini had been from Saturn since the conclusion of revolution 'a' in November 2004 at 78 planetary radii.

Janus and Epimetheus imaged on 25 December 2005 shortly before the exchange of orbits (left) and on 20 March 2006 after the exchange (right). Although the line of sight suggests the two moons were in very close proximity, both times Janus, which is rather larger, was further away.

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