The Cassini spacecraft zooms in on Mimas, pitted by craters and slightly out-of-round. Cassini images taken during a flyby of Mimas in August 2005 were compiled into a movie showing the moon's battered surface up close (see Flying Over Mimas).
This view shows the Saturn-facing hemisphere of Mimas (397 kilometers, or 247 miles across). North is up and rotated 24 degrees to the left. The moon's night side is dimly lit by Saturnshine, which is sunlight reflected by the planet.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Sept. 25, 2006 at a distance of approximately 552,000 kilometers (343,000 miles) from Mimas and at a Sun-Mimas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 106 degrees. Image scale is 3 kilometers (2 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 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.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute