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NASA's Cassini Captured The Best Ever Image Of Saturn’s Moon Mimas

First Posted: Jan 14, 2017 03:20 AM EST
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NASA revealed the image of Saturn's moon Mimas, which was captured by the Cassini spacecraft on Oct. 22, 2016. The image provides a clear view of the surface of Mimas and the famous Herschel crater. The image was captured 185,000 km away and each pixel of the image represents 1 kilometer.

Mimas is known as the smallest round-shaped object of the Solar System. It is about 400 km in diameter, and the round shape of the body is a result of its own gravitational force. The round shape of the moon is special as compared to other similar sized satellites such as Phoebe and Hyperion, which are irregularly shaped.

Mimas is also famous for its remarkably large impact crater, Herschel crater, named after the discoverer of the Mimas moon, William Herschel. The crater is about 130 km in diameter and covers around one third of the total moon surface.

The walls of the crater are about 5 km in height, while the depth of the crater is somewhere near 10 km. Experts say that the impact that was responsible for the formation of the crater nearly destroyed the moon and produced cracks on its opposite side, boingboing reported.

The Mimas satellite is especially popular among Star Wars fans due to its uncanny resemblance to the fictional "Death Star" -- the favorite spaceship of the franchise movie's Darth Vader character. The Death Star spaceship shown in the movie was said to be 120 km wide, nearly the size of the impact crater present in the Mimas moon, Gizmodo reported.

The concave dish present on the Death Star resembles the Herschel crater of Saturn's moon Mimas. Also, the Death Star's dish had a super laser that is sometimes compared with the impressive mountain-like structure present on Mimas, which is nearly the height of Mount Everest.

The latest image captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows the details of the Herschel crater, which have never been observed so closely ever. The shadows of the massive walls of the crater and the mountain peak can be clearly seen in the picture.

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