January 21, 2010
The cratered moon Mimas appears as if it has been hung like an ornament above Saturn's rings in this Cassini spacecraft image.
The spacecraft was closer to Mimas than to the rings when this image was taken. Lit terrain seen here is on the trailing hemisphere of Mimas (396 kilometers, or 246 miles across). This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane. Saturn's shadow obscures part of the rings.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Nov. 3, 2009. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 760,000 kilometers (472,000 miles) from Mimas and at a Sun-Mimas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 61 degrees. Image scale is 5 kilometers (3 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