PIA06255: Mimas: Closer Than Ever Before

Mimas: Closer Than Ever Before


This map of the surface of Saturn's moon Mimas illustrates the regions that were imaged by Cassini during the spacecraft's flyby of the moon on Aug. 2, 2005. At closest approach, the spacecraft passed within approximately 62,900 kilometers (39,300 miles) above the moon's surface. Mimas is 398 kilometers (247 miles) across.

The colored lines delineate the regions that were imaged at differing resolutions. The closest images were obtained near closest approach. Mimas has never been imaged this closely before.

The flyby provided the best views yet of the south pole of Mimas and some of its northern latitudes, as well as distant views of the giant crater Hershel, near the terminator (the boundary between day and night).

The highest resolution images show the trailing hemisphere of Mimas, opposite Herschel. Several fracture systems have been seen in the region in NASA Voyager images, like Pelion Chasma and Tintagil Chasma. Images obtained from this Cassini encounter may help test whether these canyons, and others on Mimas' surface, are related to the formation of Herschel. Craters seen on this pass are named after prominent characters in the King Arthur legend: Arthur, Merlin, Uther, Modred and Morgan.

Background Info:

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 team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov . For additional images visit the Cassini imaging team homepage http://ciclops.org .

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Mimas
System Saturn
Target Type Satellite
Mission Cassini-Huygens Voyager
Instrument Host Cassini Orbiter
Host Type Orbiter Flyby Spacecraft
Instrument Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)
Extra Keywords Color, Crater, Map
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2005-08-05
Date in Caption 2005-08-02
Image Credit NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA06255
Identifier PIA06255