Drawing the Drapes
October 5, 2005
Prometheus poses here with its latest creation: a dark, diagonal gore in the tenuous material interior to Saturn's F ring. The shepherd moon creates a new gore each time it comes closest to the F ring in its orbit of Saturn, and the memory of previous passes is preserved in the rings's structure for some time afterward. Prometheus is 102 kilometers (63 miles) across.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Aug. 20, 2005, at a distance of approximately 499,000 kilometers (310,000 miles) from Saturn and at a high Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 144 degrees. Resolution in the original image was 3 kilometers (2 miles) 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.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute