May 21, 2009
Saturn's moon Prometheus continues its dance with the planet's F ring, creating channels in the ring and streamers of extracted ring material as a result.
To watch a movie of this process, see Soft Collision.
The potato-shaped Prometheus (86 kilometers, or 53 miles across) is overexposed in this image. Bright points of light in the image are stars.
This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 54 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 16, 2009. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.3 million kilometers (808,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 99 degrees. Image scale is 8 kilometers (5 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