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Looking beyond Saturn’s magnificent rings, Cassini caught a glimpse of the moon Mimas in orbit about the gas giant. Parts of Saturn’s F and A rings are visible in the upper right corner. Here the thin F ring exhibits some of the complex structure for which it is well-known. Cassini was, at the time, speeding away from the Saturn system on its initial long, looping orbit. Mimas, pronounced “MY-muss,” has a diameter of 398 kilometers (247 miles).
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera on July 13, 2004, from a distance of about 5.1 million kilometers (3.2 million miles) from Mimas. The Sun-Mimas-spacecraft, or phase angle of the image is 94 degrees. The image scale is 31 kilometers (19 miles) per pixel. Brightness has been enhanced slightly to aid visibility.
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 Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA’s Office of Space Science, 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.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute