CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Mimas and the Giant

Mimas and the Giant
PIA 08122

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  A small and battered reminder of the Solar System's violent youth, the ice moon Mimas hurtles around its gas giant parent. At 396 kilometers (246 miles) across, Mimas is simply dwarfed by the immensity of Saturn - the planet is more than 300 times wider than the moon.

Mimas is seen here against the night side of Saturn; the planet is faintly lit by sunlight reflecting off its rings.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Jan. 20, 2006 at a distance of approximately 1.4 million kilometers (900,000 miles) from Mimas and at a Sun-Mimas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 145 degrees. Image scale is 9 kilometers (5 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 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: February 27, 2006 (PIA 08122)
Image/Caption Information