CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Oblate Mimas

Oblate Mimas
PIA 11642

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  Cassini reveals the cratered surface of Mimas, a moon whose shape is flattened at the poles.

See PIA07534 to learn more about why the moon has this oblate shape. This view looks toward the trailing hemisphere of Mimas (396 kilometers, 246 miles across). North on Mimas is up and rotated 1 degree to the left.

The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Oct. 14, 2009. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 273,000 kilometers (170,000 miles) from Mimas and at a Sun-Mimas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 5 degrees. Image scale is 2 kilometers (1 mile) per pixel.

The Cassini Equinox 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 Equinox Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: December 10, 2009 (PIA 11642)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
Red_dragon (Dec 10, 2009 at 7:50 AM):
This is perhaps one of the best images of Mimas you've ever taken, since its scarred topology can be seen quite clearly despite Herschel is not visible.
Also, the oblateness is a nice bonus.