Saturn's icy, impact-riddled moon Mimas slips briefly in front of Saturn's moon Janus in this movie from Cassini. Mimas is 397 kilometers (247 miles) across, while Janus is 181 kilometers (113 miles) across.
The movie was created from 37 original images taken over the course of 20 minutes as the spacecraft's narrow-angle camera remained pointed toward Janus.
Although Mimas moves a greater distance across the field of view, Janus also moved perceptibly during this time. The images were aligned to keep Janus close to the center of the scene.
Additional frames were inserted between the 37 Cassini images in order to smooth the appearance of Mimas' movement - a scheme called interpolation.
The terrain on Mimas seen here is about 80 degrees west of the terrain seen in a previously released movie (see Mimas on the Move), which showed the little moon appearing to cross Saturn's ring plane from Cassini's vantage point.
In that previous movie, the rim of the large impact crater Herschel (130 kilometers, or 80 miles wide) was visible as a flattening of the moon's eastern limb. In the new movie, Herschel is almost at dead center.
Contrast on Janus was mildly enhanced to aid the visibility of its surface. The right side of Mimas appears bright because the moon was partly overexposed in this image sequence.
The images for this movie were taken in visible light on March 5, 2005, when Cassini was approximately 1.8 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Mimas and 1.9 million kilometers (1.2 million miles) from Janus. The image scale is approximately 11 kilometers (7 miles) per pixel.
Cassini-Huygens at JPL
Cassini Imaging Team
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Cassini Finds An Atmosphere On Saturn's Moon Enceladus
Pasadena CA (JPL) Mar 17, 2005
The Cassini spacecraft's two close flybys of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus have revealed that the moon has a significant atmosphere. Scientists, using Cassini's magnetometer instrument for their studies, say the source may be volcanism, geysers, or gases escaping from the surface or the interior.
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