Prometheus Amid Rings
July 13, 2010
Saturn's small, potato-shaped moon Prometheus orbits between the main rings and the thin F ring in this Cassini spacecraft view.
Prometheus can be seen just above the center of the image as it orbits in the Roche Division. The gravitational influence of Prometheus (86 kilometers, or 53 miles across) periodically creates streamer-channels in the F ring. To learn more and to watch a movie of this process, see Soft Collision.
This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 15, 2010. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 2.6 million kilometers (1.6 million miles) from Prometheus. Image scale is 15 kilometers (9 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