Pointing Toward Saturn
January 27, 2014
Similar to many of the small, inner moons of Saturn, Prometheus points its long axis at Saturn as if giving us directions to the planet.
Prometheus (53 miles or 86 kilometers across), like most small moons, is not spherical. Astronomers think that the shapes of these moons hold clues to their origins and evolutions.
This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 37 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Sept. 10, 2013.
The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 621,000 miles (1 million kilometers) from Prometheus and at a Sun-Prometheus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 34 degrees. Image scale is 4 miles (6 kilometers) 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 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.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute