CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Mimas Peeks Over Saturn

Mimas peeks over Saturn's limb, dwarfed by the planet and its north polar hexagon. Saturn's A ring also makes an appearance on the far right. Mimas is 246 miles (396 kilometers) across

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 21 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Nov. 28, 2012 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 495,000 miles (797,000 kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 4 degrees. Image scale is 27 miles (44 kilometers) per pixel.

The Cassini Solstice Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. 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 was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. 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.

For more information about the Cassini Solstice Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Released: March 18, 2013 (PIA 14652)
Image/Caption Information
  Mimas Peeks Over Saturn
PIA 14652

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Alliance Member Comments
NeKto (Mar 24, 2013 at 8:31 AM):
is there an estimate of what the pressure range is at the altitudes where the clouds form? or an estimate of how deep the visible cloud forming altitudes are below say Saturn's ionosphere? i imagine the scale must be much larger that we experience here on Earth. the apparent altitude variations in the cloud banks we see make that obvious. is there anything in the way of a land mark in that huge atmosphere? anything that can give a reference point to the atmosphere we live in? where in relation to the clouds would one atmosphere pressure be?