Categories: AstronomyAstrophotos

A beautiful picture of Saturn’s heavily-cratered moon Mimas, processed by @kevinmgill

The Cassini mission to Saturn took many images of Mimas, one of the smallest moons in the solar system. And now you can view it in all its icy, cratered glory, thanks to the work of Kevin Gill.

Mimas is perhaps best known as the “Death Star” moon, because a giant impact crater on one side kinda makes it look like that famous space station in the Star Wars movies.

But Mimas has so much more to offer. It’s one of the smallest moons in the entire solar system, just over a hundred miles wide. It’s so small that it can barely keep its round shape, and is somewhat fatter around the middle because of it.

Whatever caused that giant crater almost split the world in half, and fractures on the far side of the moon remain today.

You wanted Mimas, you got it. Imaged by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft and processed by @kevinmgill

Besides that, its icy surface (Mimas is made of almost entirely pure water ice) is pitted by scores of craters, indicating a violent history. That violent is not surprising, as it sits incredibly close to Saturn, and its presence has carved the Cassini Division, a wide gap in that giant’s incredible rings.

This stunning image of Mimas comes to us courtesy of the Cassini mission, which took thousands of images of the little moon in a variety of wavelengths over the course of its 19-year-long mission. Recently, astrophotographer Kevin Gill took a stab at combining several filtered images to provide this impressive image.

Enjoy it, because it’s likely to be the last image of this resolution we’re going to get for a long time.

Paul M. Sutter

Astrophysicist, Author, Host | pmsutter.com

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