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Beside the swirling face of Saturn floats a small, icy attendant.
Mimas (397 kilometers, or 247 miles across) hovers near its giant parent, beyond the gleaming, sunlit rings.
This view looks toward the rings from about 14 degrees below the ringplane. Saturn’s shadow darkens the ringplane immediately off the planet’s limb.
The image was taken using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 853 nanometers. The view was obtained with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on May 11, 2007 at a distance of approximately 720,000 kilometers (448,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 43 kilometers (27 miles) 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, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute