March 19, 2010
Appearing like eyes on a potato, craters cover the dimly lit surface of the moon Prometheus in this high-resolution image from the Cassini spacecraft's early 2010 flyby.
The Jan. 27 encounter represented the closest imaging sequence yet of that moon for Cassini. This view looks toward the trailing hemisphere of Prometheus (86 kilometers, or 53 miles across). North on Prometheus is up and rotated 8 degrees to the right.
The moon is lit by sunlight on the right and Saturnshine on the left.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Jan. 27, 2010. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 34,000 kilometers (21,000 miles) from Prometheus and at a Sun-Prometheus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 126 degrees. Image scale is 200 meters (656 feet) 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