The stunning image provides a clearer view of Mimas prominant features
With a massive crater and a peak as high as Mount Everest lying inside it, Saturn’s moon Mimas stuns in NASA’s new image.
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NASA Cassini spacecraft's narrow angle camera has snapped the image on Oct. 22, 2016 using a combination of special filters to provide a unique view of the moon’s crater and its central peak.
Named after the moon's discoverer, astronomer William Herschel, the crater is arguably the most distinctive feature of Mimas surface. The giant crater stretches 86 miles wide, covering almost one-third of the diameter of the Saturn’s moon. It has been believed that the impact that blasted the crater out of Mimas came close to shattering the moon. Fractures found on the other side of the moon are likely caused by the shockwaves of that impact.
Like impact craters on other celestial objects, Herschel Crater also has a peak in its center. Herschel's peak stands nearly as tall as Mount Everest on Earth. When the image was taken, the spacecraft was about 115,000 miles away from Mimas. In the image, shadows across crater are providing an indication of the size of the crater's towering walls and central peak.
With 246 miles radius, Mimas is the smallest and innermost moon of the Saturn’s system. The moon is made up of almost entirely water ice. Mimas is heavily dotted with impact craters and these craters vary in sizes.
Mimas takes just around 22 hours to complete an orbit around Saturn. The moon is tidally locked, meaning it always keeps the same face toward the Saturn during orbit just like Earth’s moon.