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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
prev story

Whitepapers

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 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.