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Herschel crater on Mimas
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Herschel crater on Mimas

November 16, 2009
Saturn's moon Mimas has many large craters, but its Herschel crater dwarfs all the rest. This large crater 130 kilometres wide has a prominent central peak, seen here almost exactly on the terminator. This crater is the moon's most prominent feature, and the impact that formed it probably nearly destroyed Mimas.

This view is predominantly of the leading hemisphere of Mimas. The image has been rotated so that north on Mimas is up.

This image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera on 16 January 2005, at a distance of approximately 213 000 kilometres from Mimas and at a Sun-Mimas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 84 degrees. Resolution in the original image was about 1.3 kilometres per pixel. A combination of spectral filters sensitive to ultraviolet and polarized light was used to obtain this view. Contrast was enhanced and the image was magnified by a factor of two to aid visibility.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency.