December 20, 2007
The Cassini spacecraft watches a thin, bright sliver emerge from the hazy limb of Saturn. In one minute, the sliver ballooned into the full disk of Mimas (397 kilometers, or 247 miles across), which coasted silently into the black sky.
This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from less than a degree above the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Oct. 26, 2007. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.5 million kilometers (900,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is about 9 kilometers (6 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