CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Influence of Mimas

Influence of Mimas
PIA 06509

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  Mimas, seen here beyond Saturn's rings, is a major sculptor of Saturn's rings. The 396-kilometer (246-mile) -wide moon not only maintains the Cassini Division (not seen here), a gap wide enough to be visible from Earth through a small telescope, but it is also responsible for two of the thin, bright bands visible in this image near the rings' center, interior to the dark Encke gap.

Knots in the thin, twisted F ring also are easily visible here.

The image was taken in visible light with the narrow angle camera on September 7, 2004, from a distance of 8.8 million kilometers (5.5 million miles) from Mimas and at a Sun-Mimas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 84 degrees. The image scale is 53 kilometers (33 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: October 29, 2004 (PIA 06509)
Image/Caption Information