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Undulations mark both sides of the path of Saturn’s moon Daphnis through the A ring.
Daphnis may be small at only 8 kilometers (5 miles) across, but the moon’s gravity is great enough, and the Keeler gap in which it resides is narrow enough, so that the perturbed particles create the wavelike patterns seen here.
This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 47 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Feb. 21, 2009. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.1 million kilometers (684,000 miles) from Daphnis and at a Sun-Daphnis-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 50 degrees. Image scale is 7 kilometers (4 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.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute