PIA17153: Pointing Toward Saturn

 Pointing Toward Saturn

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Caption:

Similar to many of the small, inner moons of Saturn, Prometheus points its long axis at Saturn as if giving us directions to the planet.

Prometheus (53 miles or 86 kilometers across), like most small moons, is not spherical. Astronomers think that the shapes of these moons hold clues to their origins and evolutions.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 37 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Sept. 10, 2013.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 621,000 miles (1 million kilometers) from Prometheus and at a Sun-Prometheus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 34 degrees. Image scale is 4 miles (6 kilometers) 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 and www.nasa.gov/cassini. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at ciclops.org.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Image Addition Date: 2014-01-27

Source: NASA’s Planetary Photojournal: Image No. PIA17153