December 10, 2009
The Cassini spacecraft reveals the cratered surface of Mimas, a moon whose shape is flattened at the poles.
See Not Quite Round to learn more about why the moon has this oblate shape. This view looks toward the trailing hemisphere of Mimas (396 kilometers, or 246 miles across). North on Mimas is up and rotated 1 degree to the left.
The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Oct. 14, 2009. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 273,000 kilometers (170,000 miles) from Mimas and at a Sun-Mimas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 5 degrees. Image scale is 2 kilometers (about 1 mile) 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