Feeds

Cassini probe snaps Mimas

Another stunning Saturn holiday pic

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The Cassini space probe has taken a stunning image of Saturn's moon Mimas against the blue-grey backdrop of Saturn's rings. The image (source: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute), taken on 7 November at a distance of 3.7m km (2.3m miles) from Saturn, shows several of Saturn's rings as well as the moon.

Saturn's moon Mimas

The tiny moon appears on the right of the picture, two thirds of the way up. Saturn appears blue, rather than golden, in the picture because of preferential scattering of blue wavelengths in Saturn's cloud-free upper atmosphere. The dark band stretching across the image is Saturn's B ring, the densest of Saturn's rings. A full explanation of the picture appears on the Cassini Imaging Team website.

Mimas is one of Saturn's innermost moons, and its surface is dominated by the Herschel Crater, which is 130 km (80 miles) wide and was caused by an impact that likely came close to destroying the moon. In the centre of the 10km deep crater is a mountain almost as high as Mount Everest.

Mimas has a low density, which means that it is probably largely composed of ice. It also has a temperature of -200C (-328F), leading scientists to think that its surface features may have been preserved since the moon's formation.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a co-operative mission between the US space agency Nasa, the European Space Agency (Esa) and the Italian Space Agency (Asi). The Huygens probe will separate from the Cassini craft on Christmas Day, making a gradual descent to the surface of the moon, Titan, where it will make landfall in mid-January. ®

Related stories

Huygens probe gets clean bill of health
Titan hangs on to its secrets
Cassini glimpses Titan's face

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.