Friday, May 12, 2006

Mimas and Mama -

The rocky moon Mimas and its parent planet Saturn pose for a portrait caught by the Cassini spacecraft.

Only the hazy limb of massive Saturn is visible in this image, but it is enough to backlight the 247-mile (397-kilometer) wide Mimas. The small moon is clearly the victim of cosmic battery, with deep scars from impacts over the eons.

The moon’s most notable scar, the 80-mile (130-kilometer) Herschel crater, is swathed in darkness along the satellite’s shadowed side.

Though this image was released this month, Cassini actually recorded it on March 21, 2006 using its narrow-angle camera. Mimas is oriented so that north is up and rotated 19 degrees to the right. Cassini was 119,000 miles (191,000 kilometers) from Mimas when this image was taken.

-- Staff

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.


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