Mimas' Bulging Middle
August 12, 2009
The oblate shape of Mimas is presented in this Cassini spacecraft image. The moon appears flattened at the poles with an equatorial bulge.
To learn more about this small moon, see Not Quite Round. Herschel Crater, seen on the left, is 130 kilometers, or 80 miles, wide.
This view looks toward the leading hemisphere of Mimas (396 kilometers, or 246 miles across). North on Mimas is up and rotated 44 degree to the left. The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 25, 2009. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 594,000 kilometers (369,000 miles) from Mimas and at a Sun-Mimas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 11 degrees. Image scale is 4 kilometers (2 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.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute