January 5, 2010
Saturn's small moon Prometheus, slightly overexposed in this image, shows off its potato-like shape as it orbits in the Roche Division between the A ring and thin F ring.
Prometheus (86 kilometers, or 53 miles across) periodically creates streamer-channels in the F ring, and a streamer-channel can be seen in the upper left. To learn more and to watch a movie of this process, see Soft Collision.
More than a dozen background stars are visible. This view looks toward the northern, unilluminated side of the rings from about 57 degrees above the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 31, 2009. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.6 million kilometers (994,000 miles) from Prometheus. Image scale is 10 kilometers (6 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