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Small Moon Makes Big Waves



Category: Saturn

Saturn's rings

Small Moon Makes Big Waves
December 31, 2012
Full-Res: PIA14641

Saturn's small moon Daphnis is caught in the act of raising waves on the edges of the Keeler gap, which is the thin dark band in the left half of the image. Waves like these allow scientists to locate small moons in gaps and measure their masses.

For more on Daphnis (5 miles, or 8 kilometers across) and the Keeler gap, see Wave Shadows in Motion and Discovery of the Wavemaker (movie).

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 13 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Aug. 14, 2012.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 483,000 miles (778,000 kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 4 degrees. Image scale is 3 miles (4 kilometers) per pixel. The F ring has been brightened by a factor of 1.5 relative to the main rings to enhance visibility.

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 in Washington. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov or http://www.nasa.gov/cassini . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute




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