PIA08910: Streamer Genesis

 Streamer Genesis

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Prometheus draws a fresh streamer of material from the F ring as it passes the ring’s interior edge. The streamer will continuously shear out as it orbits the planet, becoming more elongated and increasingly aligned with the F ring with time.

A single large crater is the principle feature visible on Prometheus (102 kilometers, or 63 miles across) in this view. The moon is lit partly by bright sunlight and partly by reflected light from Saturn.

This view looks toward the unlit 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 Feb. 11, 2007 at a distance of approximately 1.7 million kilometers (1.1 miles) from Prometheus and at a Sun-Prometheus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 130 degrees. 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.

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

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Source: NASA’s Planetary Photojournal: Image No. PIA08910