A kingly crescent Saturn rests on the right of this Cassini spacecraft portrait while the moon Mimas appears above the rings on the left.
Mimas looks like just a speck of light here but is actually 396 kilometers, or 246 miles, across. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane. Mimas was brightened by a factor of 1.4 relative to Saturn and the rings.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Nov. 28, 2009 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 2.5 million kilometers (1.6 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 103 degrees. Image scale is 144 kilometers (89 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.