Space pics find real Deathstar orbiting Saturn

26 11 2005

NASA Planetary Photojournal:

Impact-battered Mimas steps in front of Saturn’s rings, showing off its giant 130-kilometer (80-mile) wide crater Herschel.

The illuminated terrain seen here is on the moon’s leading hemisphere. North on Mimas is up and rotated 20 degrees to the left. Mimas is 397 kilometers (247 miles) across.

The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini narrow-angle camera on Oct. 13, 2005 at a distance of approximately 711,000 kilometers (442,000 miles) from Mimas and at a Sun-Mimas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 112 degrees. The image scale is 4 kilometers (3 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 mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.

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