Mimas plows along in its orbit, its pockmarked surface in crisp relief. The bright, steep walls of the enormous crater, Herschel (130 kilometers, or 80 miles wide), gleam in the sunlight.
The lit terrain seen here is on the leading hemisphere of Mimas (397 kilometers, or 247 miles across). North is up.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Aug. 16, 2006 at a distance of approximately 221,000 kilometers (137,000 miles) from Mimas and at a Sun-Mimas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 80 degrees. Image scale is 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) 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 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 operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute