PIA12612: In the Arc

In the Arc


This Cassini spacecraft image holds an unseen treasure orbiting within the bright arc of Saturn's G ring: the tiny moonlet Aegaeon.

The moonlet itself is too small to be seen within the arc pictured here, but is thought to be the source of the debris forming the bright arc in the lower right portion of the G ring in this image. See PIA11148 to learn more about tiny Aegaeon (formerly known as S/2008 S 1). This view looks toward the southern, unilluminated side of the rings from about 4 degrees below the ringplane. Many background stars are visible elongated by the motion of the spacecraft during the image's exposure.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Jan. 24, 2010. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.7 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 10 kilometers (6 miles) per pixel.

Background Info:

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.

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

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Saturn Rings Aegaeon, G Ring, Saturn
System Saturn
Target Type Ring Planet, Satellite
Mission Cassini-Huygens
Instrument Host Cassini Orbiter
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)
Detector Narrow Angle Camera
Extra Keywords Grayscale, Moonlet, Visual
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2010-04-15
Date in Caption 2010-01-24
Image Credit NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA12612
Identifier PIA12612