PIA10456: Feeling Gravity’s Pull

 Feeling Gravity's Pull

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Brilliant Prometheus pulls at the nearby inner strand of Saturn’s F ring. Gravitational tugs from Prometheus are constantly reshaping this narrow ring.

Prometheus (86 kilometers, or 53 miles across at its widest point) is lit at right by the Sun and at left by reflected light from Saturn.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 40 degrees below the ringplane. The glow on the right side of the moon is due to light scattered within the camera optics. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on July 22, 2008. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 546,000 kilometers (339,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 45 degrees. Image scale is 3 kilometers (2 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. PIA10456