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Gazing beyond Saturn’s magnificent rings, Cassini spotted the cause of the dark gap visible in the foreground of this image: Mimas, which is 398 kilometers (247 miles) wide. The gravitational influence of Mimas is responsible for the 4,800 kilometer- (2,980 mile-) wide Cassini division, which stretches across the lower left portion of this view. The little moon is at a nearly half-full phase in this view.
A small clump of material is visible in the narrow F ring, beyond the edge of the main rings.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera on Aug. 25, 2004, at a distance of 8.9 million kilometers (5.5 million miles) from Mimas and at a Sun-Mimas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 88 degrees. The image scale is 54 kilometers (34 miles) per pixel. The image was magnified by a factor of four 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