A thin sliver of Mimas is illuminated, the long shadows showing off its many craters, indicators of the moon’s violent history.

The most famous evidence of a collision on Mimas (246 miles, or 396 kilometers across) is the crater Herschel that gives Mimas its Death Star-like appearance. See PIA12568 for more on Herschel.

This view looks toward the anti-Saturn hemisphere of Mimas. North on Mimas is up and rotated 40 degrees to the right. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 20, 2013.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 100,000 miles (200,000 kilometers) from Mimas and at a Sun-Mimas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 130 degrees. Image scale is 4,000 feet (1 kilometer) per pixel.

Crescent Mimas

A thin sliver of Mimas is illuminated, the long shadows showing off its many craters, indicators of the moon’s violent history. The most famous evidence of a collision on Mimas (246 miles, or 396 kilometers across) is the crater Herschel that gives Mimas its Death Star-like appearance. See PIA12568 for more on Herschel. This view looks toward the anti-Saturn hemisphere of Mimas. North on Mimas is up and rotated 40 degrees to the right. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 20, 2013. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 100,000 miles (200,000 kilometers) from Mimas and at a Sun-Mimas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 130 degrees. Image scale is 4,000 feet (1 kilometer) per pixel. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://www.nasa.gov/cassini and http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org . Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Saturn’s shadows

It may seem odd to think of planets casting shadows out in the inky blackness of space, but it is a common phenomenon. Earth’s shadow obscures the Moon during a lunar eclipse, and Jupiter’s moons cast small shadows onto their parent planet.  

One of the best places in our Solar System to spot intriguing and beautiful celestial shadows is at Saturn. On 1 July, the international Cassini mission celebrates 10 years of exploring Saturn, its rings and its moons, an endeavour that has produced invaluable science but also stunning images like this.

Drifting along in the foreground, small and serene, is Saturn’s icy moon Mimas. The blue backdrop may at first appear to be the gas giant’s famous and impressive set of rings, with pale and dark regions separated by long inky black slashes, but it is actually the northern hemisphere of Saturn itself. The dark lines slicing across the frame are shadows cast by the rings onto the planet.

Although we may not associate the colour blue with Saturn, when Cassini arrived at the planet the northernmost regions displayed the delicate blue palette shown in this image. As this region of Saturn is generally quite free of cloud, scattering by molecules in the atmosphere causes sunlight to take a longer path through the atmosphere. The light is scattered predominantly at shorter – bluer – wavelengths. This is similar to why the sky on Earth appears blue to our eyes.

Seasonal changes over the years since this photo was taken have turned the blue into Saturn’s more familiar golden hue. The reverse is occurring in the south, which is slowly becoming bluer.

Image credit & copyright: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

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Satoshi Kon had amazing attention to detail, which becomes all the more apparent when his illustrations are isolated to just black and white. I selected these line arts from Kon’s Works 1982-2010 because of the different kinds of clutter in each work, and the way it makes your eyes ‘search’ the illustration, not looking for anything in particular yet marveling at what you do find.

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MIMA House | MIMA Lab | more

  …unique for its ability to be reconfigured by the owners in project and also post-delivery. The interior walls consist of lightweight panels that can be easily relocated or removed by two people. Several years have been spent refining the concept in order to arrive at a finished product that would be quick to manufacture, easy to assemble, of good quality and affordable.

The interior wall system consists of frames that are snapped into place in […] tracks. As a result, the rooms can be expanded or reduced in increments of 1.5 m. Finish panels are then attached to both sides of the wall frames.

the decor of the house can be changed just by flipping the [wood veneer] panels over. Similar panels can be used to cover the windows as needed for privacy or to block out unwanted sunlight and views.

Two moons passing in the night

The Saturn moons Mimas and Pandora remind us of how different they are when they appear together, as in this image taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. Pandora’s small size means that it lacks sufficient gravity to pull itself into a round shape like its larger sibling, Mimas. Researchers believe that the elongated shape of Pandora (50 miles, or 81 kilometers across) may hold clues to how it and other moons near Saturn’s rings formed.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

The icy moon Mimas drifting along in its orbit against the sky-blue backdrop of Saturn.

The long, dark lines on the atmosphere are shadows cast by the planet’s rings. Saturn’s northern hemisphere is presently relatively cloud-free, and rays of sunlight take a long path through the atmosphere. This results in sunlight being scattered at shorter (bluer) wavelengths, therefore giving the northernmost latitudes their bluish appearance at visible wavelengths.

The images were obtained using the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera in 2005, at a distance of approximately 1.4 million km (870,000 miles) from Saturn.

Credit: Cassini-Huygens mission team/JPL/Space Science Institute

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Blue Saturn

Light rays here travel a much longer path through the relatively cloud-free upper atmosphere. Along this path, shorter wavelength blue light rays are scattered effectively by gases in the atmosphere, and it is this scattered light that gives the region its blue character. Why the upper atmosphere is the northern hemisphere is so cloud-free is not known, but may be related to colder temperatures brought on by the ring shadows cast there.

Saturn’s famous rings cast the dark shadows stretching across the frame with infamous cratered moon Mimas drifting along in its orbit. The ring shadows at higher latitudes correspond to locations on the ringplane that are farther from the planet.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Mimas Blues

Mimas drifts along in its orbit against the azure backdrop of Saturn’s northern latitudes in this true color view. The long, dark lines on the atmosphere are shadows cast by the planet’s rings.

Saturn’s northern hemisphere is presently relatively cloud-free, and rays of sunlight take a long path through the atmosphere. This results in sunlight being scattered at shorter (bluer) wavelengths, thus giving the northernmost latitudes their bluish appearance at visible wavelengths.

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