Cassini says goodbye to moon Mimas

During a final shaving flight past Mimas, Cassini took breathtaking snapshots of the moon.

A number of those photos have fused the American space agency into a mosaic. The result is one of the best photos we have of Mimas to date. Only rarely have we been able to admire the moon in such a high resolution.

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

Cassini took the photos at the end of January. The probe then skimmed past Mimas to astronomical standards. The moment the distance between the probe and the moon was the smallest, it was only about 41,230 kilometers. The photos processed in the mosaic above were taken during the same shaving flight from a distance of about 45,000 kilometers.

Cassini has closed another chapter with the shaving flight. It was the last shaving flight past Mimas before the probe that will make a death dive in the atmosphere of Saturn in September. If the probe points its eyes at the moon sometime in the coming months, it will always be at least twice as far from Mimas.

The mosaic is available in two variants. Here you see the most natural version. At the top of this article something has been played with the lighting. For example, the brightness of the left side of the moon - which is illuminated by light reflecting Saturn - is somewhat jacked up, allowing us to admire the entire surface. Photo: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Space Science Institute.

Video: Cassini Says Goodbye (June 2019).