Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Two Saturnian moons, Dione and Rhea, have formed two-thirds of a snowman. All that's missing is the head.
In an image, newly captured by the Cassini spacecraft and shared by the European Space Agency, the two separate moons appear as a single segmented body.
In reality, Dione, the top moon, was 683 million miles closer to Cassini when the photograph was taken. Rhea is significantly larger than Dione, but the distance between the two moons made the duo appear similarly sized.
The two moons also orbit their host planet at different distances. Dione is about as far away from Saturn as the moon is from Earth. Rhea is farther away. While Dione completes an orbit in 2.7 days, Rhea's trip around the ringed planet takes 4.5 days.
Both moons have a reflective appearance, offering the same glimmer as newly packed balls of snow. Both moons feature significant amounts of ice.
But while Rhea features a mixture of rock and ice on its surface, like a dirty snowball, Dione hides its rock in the core. Scientists think a subsurface ocean is hidden between Dione's rocky core and its icy surface.
Dione is heavily cratered, but strangely, most of the impacts are found on the side that faces away from Saturn.
"[This is] opposite to what is expected as the forward facing side of the moon should be bombarded with more material," ESA explained in a news release. "This unusual cratering pattern suggests that it suffered an impact which spun the moon around 180 degrees."
Saturn and its moons continue to give up new secrets each year, as scientists capture new data collected using spacecrafts and powerful telescopes.
Earlier this year, scientists confirmed Saturn's water is similar to the makeup of water on Earth, while its moon Phoebe features a chemically unusual type of water.
Last year, scientists determined Saturn's A ring is contained by a total of seven moons, not a single satellite, as was previously hypothesized.