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Although we are used to seeing Saturn’s moons lit directly by the Sun, sometimes we can catch them illuminated by “Saturnshine.” Here, we see Mimas (upper right) lit by light reflected off of Saturn.
With each reflection, the intensity of the illumination is decreased significantly. To better illustrate the effect of Saturnshine, in this image Mimas (246 miles, 396 kilometers across), has had its brightness enhanced by a factor of 2.5 relative to the rings.
This view looks toward the trailing hemisphere of Mimas. North on Mimas is up and rotated 8 degrees to the right. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Feb. 16, 2015.
The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.6 million miles (2.5 million kilometers) from Mimas and at a Sun-Mimas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 148 degrees. Image scale is 9 miles (15 kilometers) 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 team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Image Addition Date: 2015-04-13