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These figures show four propeller-shaped structures discovered by the Cassini spacecraft in close-up images of Saturn’s A ring.
The propellers are about 5 kilometers (3 miles) long from tip to tip, and the radial offset (the “leading” dash is slightly closer to Saturn) is about 300 meters (1,000 feet). See PIA07791 and PIA07792 for additional images and information about these features.
The figures were cropped from two original Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera images and magnified for visibility. The images were then re-projected so that orbital motion is to the left and Saturn is up. The unseen moonlets lie in the center of each structure. The figures were cropped from two original Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera images, taken during Saturn orbit insertion on July 1, 2004, and magnified for 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, 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.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute