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Mimas drifts along in its orbit against the azure backdrop of Saturn's northern latitudes in this true color view. The long, dark lines on the atmosphere are shadows cast by the planet's rings.
Saturn's northern hemisphere is presently relatively cloud-free and rays of sunlight take a long path through the atmosphere. This results in sunlight being scattered at shorter (bluer) wavelengths, thus giving the northernmost latitudes their bluish appearance at visible wavelengths.
At bottom, craters on icy Mimas (396 kilometers, 246 miles across) give the moon a dimpled appearance.
Images taken using infrared (930 nanometers), green (568 nanometers) and ultraviolet (338 nanometers) spectral filters were combined. The colors have been adjusted to match closely what the scene would look like in natural color. See PIA06142 for a similar view in natural color.
The images were obtained using the narrow angle camera on January 18, 2005, from a distance of approximately 1.4 million kilometers (870,000 miles) from Saturn. Resolution in the image is 8.5 kilometers (5.3 miles) per pixel on Saturn and 7.5 kilometers (4.7 miles) per pixel on Mimas. The image has been contrast-enhanced 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 Science Mission Directorate, 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.