Our Last Stunning Close-Up of Saturn's 'Death Star Moon'

Image: NASA
Image: NASA

Saturn’s mysterious moon Mimas is a fan favorite for obvious reasons—the heavily cratered world looks eerily similar to the Death Star from “Star Wars.” The moon’s iconic Herschel Crater, at roughly 81 miles across, makes it a dead ringer for George Lucas’ iconic weapon of mass destruction.

On January 30th, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft swooped close to Mimas for the last time in its mission—and while Cassini’s goodbye tour has been full of excellent images, this one of Mimas is particularly exquisite.

Illustration for article titled Our Last Stunning Close-Up of Saturns Death Star Moon

This mosaic—taken roughly 28,000 miles from the moon itself—was created by combining 10 images from Cassini’s narrow-angle camera. But the mood lighting provided here was all Saturn. Saturn’s all about ambiance.

In September, Cassini will end its 20-year-long mission when it plunges itself into Saturn’s atmosphere. Until then, we can expect more fantastic images of Saturn’s bizarre moons. But none will replace the Death Star-shaped void in our hearts.


Space Writer, Gizmodo

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When Cassini plunges into Saturn atmosphere, at what point will it no longer function? Will it give us a glimpse of what lies beneath?