From the LITD Archives: Eclipsing Mimas

Originally published on May 16, 2009. LITD is almost 3 years old!

A Shadow Crosses the Face of Mimas
A Shadow Crosses the Face of Mimas

This animation, made from a series of 8 raw images taken by Cassini on May 14, shows Saturn’s moon Mimas being eclipsed by another object…..a neighboring moon, perhaps? It’s not mentioned, but it definitely seems to be something of similar size, and round.

Mimas is best characterized by its large-scale Herschel crater in its northern hemisphere. At 88 miles wide, it is a major surface feature of the 246-mile-wide moon (and pretty much makes it look like a rough version of the Death Star.) Herschel is not visible in these particular images.

It will be interesting to see if this eclipse event is clarified by the Cassini mission team in the future.

Raw image credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute. Animation: J. Major.