Date – February 13, 2010
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft’s Saturn’s satellite Mimas’ closest flight to Herschel Crater’s illustration with a false color view shows subtle variations in Saturn’s satellite Mimas. This image shows the color variations that depend on its terrain, especially the bluish objects around Herschel Crater (130 km / 80 m wide) and the greenish cast elsewhere in the older and heavier cratered terrain. The exact origin / cause of the color differences is not yet known, but may be due to subtle differences in surface structure between the two regions.
False color pictures from Cassini’s most recent meeting (flyby) in 2005 showed similar variations. On February 13, 2010, on the shortest ever fly-by, Cassini reached approximately 9,500 km (5,900 miles) from Mimas. This view looks at the northern hemisphere of Mimas in the moon’s orbit around Saturn. Mimas is 396 km (246 mi) wide. The northern part of Mimas is tilted 12 degrees upwards.
The images were taken that day using Cassini’s narrow angle camera, about 16,000 kilometers (10,000 miles) from Mimas.
The resulting images are projected back into an orthographic map projection. The black and white image taken in visible light with a wide angle camera is used to fill mosaic parts. The image scale is 90 meters (295 feet) per pixel.