Mimas "rising" from behind Saturn
Saturn and Mimas are at extremely low phase -- the Sun is almost directly behind Cassini -- so little of Mimas' rugged topography is visible. However, there is a noticeable flat spot on Mimas' western (upper) limb, which is the rim of the giant crater Herschel. The movie also illustrates how Mimas, unusually among Saturn's inner moons, has an inclined orbit. Cassini is on the north (right), unilluminated side of Saturn's ring plane. Moons that orbit outside the rings exactly in the ring plane would appear on the left side of the rings if they were closer to Cassini than Saturn, and on the right side of the rings if they were farther from Cassini than Ssaturn. The fact that Mimas is on the left side of the rings yet is evidently behind Saturn tells you that its orbit must be tilted with respect to the ring plane.
Copyright holder: Gordan Ugarkovic
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Contact us to request publication permission from the copyright holder. Original image data dated on or about October 26, 2007