Cassini VIMS Science Investigations
The VIMS (Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer) instrument on the Cassini spacecraft has several unique capabilities. It is able to identify the chemical composition of a surface, atmosphere, or Saturn’s rings by measuring the visible and infrared energy. VIMS is, in essence, a color camera that takes pictures in 352 different wavelengths between 300 nm and 5100 nm. This range, coupled with the ability to discern different wavelengths (called spectral resolution), allows the VIMS instrument to be able to very accurately quantify the light it detects. Do you know which wavelengths of light we can see? The visible spectrum falls between 400 nm and 700 nm; a small portion of the light that the VIMS instrument gathers.