Looking beyond Saturn's magnificent rings, Cassini caught a glimpse of Mimas (396 kilometers, 246 miles across) as it plied its orbit about the gas giant. Parts of Saturn's F and A rings are visible in the upper right corner. Here the thin F ring exhibits some of the complex structure for which it is well-known. Cassini was, at the time, speeding away from the Saturn system on its initial long, looping orbit.
The image was taken in visible light with the narrow angle camera on July 13, 2004, from a distance of about 5.1 million kilometers (3.2 million miles) from Mimas and at a Sun-Mimas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 94 degrees. The image scale is 31 kilometers (19 miles) per pixel. Brightness has been enhanced slightly to aid visibility.
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 Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The imaging team consists of scientists from the US, England, France, and Germany. The imaging operations center and team lead (Dr. C. Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.