Saturday, 17 June 2017

NEW Map of Saturn’s moon Mimas

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PIA17215_modestThis global map of Saturn's moon Mimas was created using images taken during Cassini spacecraft flybys. The moon's large, distinguishing crater, Herschel, is seen on the map at left.

The map is an equidistant (simple cylindrical) projection and has a scale of 710 feet (216 meters) per pixel at the equator. The mean radius of Mimas used for projection of this map is 123.2 miles (198.2 kilometres). The resolution of the map is 16 pixels per degree.

This product is an update to the map released in August 2012. The update includes new images for almost half of the moon's surface, with new images from two close flybys, in Nov. 2016 and Feb. 2017. The moon's western hemisphere, south pole and parts of the eastern hemisphere received updates in this version.

moonMimas's most distinctive feature is a giant impact crater 130 km (81 miles) across, named Herschel after the discoverer of Mimas. Herschel's diameter is almost a third of Mimas's own diameter; its walls are approximately 5 km (3 miles) high, parts of its floor measure 10 km (6 miles) deep, and its central peak rises 6 km (4 mi) above the crater floor. If there were a crater of an equivalent scale on Earth (in relative size) it would be over 4,000 km (2,500 miles) in diameter, wider than Australia. The impact that made this crater must have nearly shattered Mimas: fractures can be seen on the opposite side of Mimas that may have been created by shock waves from the impact travelling through Mimas's body.

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 Caltech in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two on-board cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations centre is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

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