The Cassini spacecraft turns the eye of its camera toward Saturn's moon Mimas and spies the large Herschel Crater which itself looks like the iris of an eye peering out into space.
Herschel Crater is 130 kilometers, or 81 miles, wide and covers most of the right of this image. Scientists continue to study this impact basin and its surrounding terrain (see Examining Herschel Crater).
Lit terrain seen here is on leading hemisphere of Mimas (396 kilometers, or 246 miles across). North on Mimas is up and rotated 1 degree to the left.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Oct. 16, 2010. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 103,000 kilometers (64,000 miles) from Mimas and at a Sun-Mimas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 113 degrees. Image scale is 613 meters (2,011 feet) 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