Mimas...and Titan Beyond
January 3, 2006
Titan, Saturn's largest moon, and Mimas, closer but much smaller on the right, are seen together in this view from Cassini. Titan's gravity is weaker than Earth's, so the moon's atmosphere is quite extended -- a quality hinted at in this view.
Part of Mimas' dark side is illuminated by reflected light from nearby Saturn.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Dec. 3, 2005, at a distance of approximately 3.6 million kilometers (2.2 million miles) from Titan (5,150 kilometers, or 3,200 miles across) and 2.5 million kilometers (1.6 million miles) from Mimas (397 kilometers, or 247 miles across). Both moons are seen at a Sun-moon-spacecraft angle, or phase angle, of 110 degrees. The image scale is 22 kilometers (14 miles) per pixel on Titan and 15 kilometers (9 miles) per pixel on Mimas.
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.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute