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Toying with Gravity



Category: Rings

Prometheus creates a streamer in the F ring

Toying with Gravity
November 16, 2006
Full-Res: PIA08311

This view, like The Hand of Prometheus, shows Prometheus with a streamer it has created in the inner edge of the F ring. Prometheus comes close to the inner edge of the ring once per orbit, perturbing the ring particles there. In 2009, the moon's orbit is expected to carry it repeatedly into the F ring core, an event that ring scientists are eagerly awaiting.

Prometheus is 102 kilometers (63 miles) across. This view looks toward the unlit side of the rings from about 40 degrees above the ringplane.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Oct. 16, 2006 at a distance of approximately 1.8 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Prometheus and at a Sun-Prometheus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 150 degrees. Scale in the original image was 11 kilometers (7 miles) per pixel. The image has been magnified by a factor of two.

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.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org . Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute




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