Mimas orbits beyond the outer fringes of Saturn's main rings, perturbing the orbits of ring particles and creating gaps like the Huygens Gap within the Cassini Division (the wide, dark gap near lower left). The outer edge of the B ring (lower left corner) and the thin, outermost section of the A ring appear notably brighter than the bulk of the A ring, suggesting differences in ring particle density or composition. Small knots in the thin F ring are visible at lower right. Mimas is 398 kilometers (247 miles) across.
This view is from Cassini's vantage point beneath the ring plane. The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera on Nov. 18, 2004, at a distance of approximately 4.7 million kilometers (2.9 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 27 kilometers (17 miles) per pixel. Contrast was enhanced to aid visibility.
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 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 .
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute