CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Mimas Against the Rings

Mimas Against the Rings
PIA 06412

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  During its close flyby of Mimas on August 2, 2005, Cassini caught a glimpse of Mimas against the broad expanse of Saturn's rings. The Keeler gap in the outer A ring, in which Cassini spied a never-before-seen small moon (PIA06237), is at upper right.

The ancient, almost asteroidal-like surface of Mimas is evident in its crater-upon-crater appearance. Even the material which has slumped down into the bottom of some of its craters bear the marks of later impacts.

The image was taken through the clear filter of the narrow angle camera from a distance of 68,000 km (42,500 miles) from Mimas and very near closest approach. The smallest features seen on the moon are about 400 meters (440 yards) wide; the Sun-Mimas-Cassini angle is 44 degrees.

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.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit and the Cassini imaging team home page,

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: August 5, 2005 (PIA 06412)
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