Small But Effective
February 16, 2009
Tiny Daphnis' impact on the Keeler gap in which it resides can be seen in this image from the Cassini spacecraft.
Daphnis (8 kilometers, or5 miles across) makes waves in the edge of the Keeler gap as it orbits. "Daphnis and Pan" shows Daphnis and Pan, another shepherding moon, creating their perturbations on the rings.
This view looks toward the unilluminated 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 Jan. 11, 2009. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1 million kilometers (627,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 44 degrees. Image scale is 6 kilometers (4 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