Cassini Spacecraft Views Mimas’ Gigantic Crater

New Cassini View of Mimas' Gigantic Crater

The massive Herschel crater on Mimas. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

This newly released Cassini image shows Mimas’ gigantic crater Herschel near the moon’s limb.

A big enough impact could potentially break up a moon. Luckily for Mimas, whatever created Herschel was not quite big enough to cause that level of disruption.

When large impacts happen, they deliver tremendous amounts of energy — sometimes enough to cause global destruction. Even impacts that are not catastrophic can leave enormous, near-permanent scars on bodies like Mimas (246 miles or 396 kilometers across).

This view looks toward the anti-Saturn hemisphere of Mimas. North on Mimas is up and rotated 32 degrees to the left. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on November 19, 2016.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 53,000 miles (85,000 kilometers) from Mimas. Image scale is 1,677 feet (511 meters) per pixel.

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