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Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Time Event
4:25p
Saturn's Coolest #8: Mimas
Mimas is the innermost and smallest world of the Saturn system: about two hundred miles in diameter, it orbits just outside all the easily-visible rings.



One of the most iconic pictures from Voyager 1, as it flew through the Saturn system in 1980, was this picture of Mimas. Its resemblance to the Death Star, just after Empire Strikes Back was released, was a cool and almost spooky coincidence. It looks like it does because of the huge crater (Herschel) taking up a third of one side of the moon. That crater is interesting; Mimas isn't the only one of Saturn's moons to show clear evidence that large amounts of debris was flying around the system at some point in the very distant past. The crater is so big that some models say it should have shattered Mimas when it hit, so why it didn't is a good question.

It's not the only thing interesting about Mimas, though. Read more...Collapse )

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