Mimas’ Flat Spot

Mimas and Saturn's rings
April 11, 2011
PIA NumberPIA12761
  • english

The right-hand limb of Saturn's moon Mimas appears flattened as Herschel Crater is viewed edge-on in this Cassini spacecraft image. The planet's rings are in the background.

Herschel Crater is 130 kilometers (81 miles) wide and located on the moon's leading hemisphere. See Examining Herschel Crater for a straight-on view of the crater.

This view looks toward the anti-Saturn side of Mimas (396 kilometers, or 246 miles across). North on Mimas is up and rotated 16 degrees to the left. This view looks toward the southern, unilluminated side of the rings from just below the ringplane.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Jan. 31, 2011. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 260,000 kilometers (161,000 miles) from Mimas and at a Sun-Mimas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 9 degrees. Image scale is 2 kilometers (1 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 in Washington. 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 or http://www.nasa.gov/cassini . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute