Sci-Tech

NASA gets all up in Saturn moon's face

Saturn's Epimetheus is ready for its close-up in an image showing how rough life can be for an unprotected moon out in space.

Epimetheus looks pretty beat up.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Saturn has some famous moons, including massive and strange Titan, Death Star-lookalike Mimas and icy Enceladus

It's okay if you've never heard of Epimetheus, a dainty moon that is the subject of a delightful close look from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. Epimetheus, named for a giant diety from Greek mythology, is just 70 miles (113 kilometers) across. The image shows off the moon's surface and its many craters.

NASA notes that petite Epimetheus is too small to hang onto an atmosphere or to be geologically active, so it can't do anything about the many marks left behind by incoming meteors. The pockmarks just stick around until they're hammered away by new impact craters. 

Cassini snapped the fascinating close-up in February from a distance of 9,300 miles (15,000 kilometers) away. NASA highlighted the image on Wednesday, calling it one of the highest resolution views ever taken of the moon. 

Cassini, a joint project from NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency, is due to conclude its mission by plunging into Saturn's atmosphere in September.