Reappearance of Saturn's satellite Mimas

On 10 August 1995 HST observed the second passage of the Earth through Saturn's ring plane in the 1995/96 series of triple crossings. This pair of 100 sec exposures was taken with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera (WFPC2) in planetary (high resolution) mode 2.5 hours prior to the Earth's passage through the ring plane. An 8922 A methane bandfilter was used to reduce the scattered light from the planet.

The rings appear as a razor-thin line extending from the planet's eastern limb out to the usually faint F Ring, at a radius of 140,000km. Unlike ground-based images taken a few days earlier, the rings show no sign of clumps or bright spots at this time. The brightness of the rings in this view implies an effective 'thickness' of about 1.5 km, although the actual ring thickness is much less than this - probably as little as 10 meters. The edge-on brightness of the rings is due to a combination of vertical waves in the rings, the F Ring, and perhaps other unidentified sources.


Phil Nicholson (Cornell University), Mark Showalter (NASA/ESA-Ames/Stanford) and NASA/ESA

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Release date:11 August 1995, 21:00
Size:587 x 664 px

About the Object

Name:Mimas, Saturn
Type:Solar System : Planet
Solar System : Planet : Satellite
Category:Solar System

Image Formats

Large JPEG
102.6 KB
Screensize JPEG
175.8 KB

Colours & filters

892 nm Hubble Space Telescope

Also see our

Accelerated by CDN77