Cassini continues to uncover new wonders within the Saturn system with its discovery of two new moons orbiting between Mimas and Enceladus.
This movie shows the tiny 'worldlet', temporarily dubbed S/2004 S1, as it makes its way around the planet. A white box frames the moon's location in the image. The image is part of a sequence specifically designed to search for new moons in the inner saturnian system. It has not been cleaned of imaging artifacts but has been greatly enhanced in contrast to increase visibility. Consequently, the background scattered light from the nearby rings, as well as many cosmic ray hits and noise patterns, are clearly apparent.
The size of the moon has been estimated to be 3 km across. Because the moon is small and not resolved, it appears as a faint point of light just barely visible above the background.
The image was taken on 1 June 2004, at a distance of 16.5 million km from Saturn. The image scale is approximately 100 km per pixel. This view was taken looking upward from Cassini’s southern vantage point, beneath the ring plane.
The S1 movie spans about 90° of the moon’s orbit around the left side of the planet and consists of 27 frames taken over a period of six hours. The overexposed object seen orbiting Saturn is Mimas.
S/2004 S1 orbits at a distance of approximately 194,000 km from Saturn. More precise orbit size and shape, as well as any tilt the orbit might have relative to Saturn’s ring plane, will require the acquisition of future imaging observations by the Cassini cameras.