Mimas, seen here beyond Saturn's rings, is a major sculptor of Saturn's rings. The 398-kilometer-wide (247-mile-wide) moon not only maintains the Cassini Division (not seen here), a gap wide enough to be visible from Earth through a small telescope, but it is also responsible for two of the thin, bright bands visible in this image near the rings' center, interior to the dark Encke Gap.
Knots in the thin, twisted F ring also are easily visible here.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera on Sept. 7, 2004, at a distance of 8.8 million kilometers (5.5 million miles) from Mimas and at a Sun-Mimas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 84 degrees. The image scale is 53 kilometers (33 miles) per pixel.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.
For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and the Cassini imaging team home page, http://ciclops.org .
NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute