Half an hour after Prometheus tore into Saturn’s F ring, Cassini snapped this image just as the moon was creating a new streamer in the ring. The dark pattern shaped like an upside down check mark in the lower left of the image is Prometheus and its shadow. The potato shaped moon can just be seen coming back out of the ring. The moon’s handiwork also is apparent in two previous streamer-channel formations on the right of the image. The darkest streamer-channel stretching from the top right to the center of the image shows Prometheus’ previous apoapse passage about 15 hours earlier. Prometheus (86 km/53 mi across) dips into the inner edge of the F ring when it reaches apoapse, its farthest point from Saturn. At apoapse, the moon’s gravity pulls out particles of the ring into a streamer. As Prometheus moves back toward periapse - its orbit’s closest point to the planet - the streamer gets longer. Then, as Prometheus moves back toward apoapse, the streamer breaks apart which results in a dark channel. This streamer-channel cycle repeats once every orbit. The image was taken on Jan. 14, 2009 at a distance of approximately 555,000 km (345,000 mi) from Saturn. 

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/SSI


Posted 10 months ago with 278 notes
Tagged:NASAcassini spacecraftscienceAstronomysaturnsaturn's ringf ringprometheusmoonspace

  1. the-essence-of-awkwardness reblogged this from spaceplasma
  2. zaya117 reblogged this from spaceplasma
  3. thor-godofscienceandreason reblogged this from billionsandbillionsandbillions
  4. nosferatujones reblogged this from contaminatedbreastcheese
  5. contaminatedbreastcheese reblogged this from paradoxicalparadigms
  6. veronavendetta reblogged this from wintersknife
  7. wintersknife reblogged this from ddaylightdreamingg
  8. foxtailswish reblogged this from ramblingeekette
  9. ramblingeekette reblogged this from brunes-secret-tumblr
  10. brunes-secret-tumblr reblogged this from lookatthesefuckinstars
  11. chrysasaur reblogged this from lookatthesefuckinstars
  12. brvcefvce reblogged this from astro-stoner
  13. astro-stoner reblogged this from comrade-sagan
  14. mangabubbletea reblogged this from discoveringmakebelief
  15. wangandreamstyle reblogged this from comrade-sagan
  16. oruadhain reblogged this from lookatthesefuckinstars
  17. ayyrawn reblogged this from lookatthesefuckinstars
  18. the-universe-nextdoor reblogged this from lookatthesefuckinstars
  19. fuckmeowmix reblogged this from lookatthesefuckinstars
  20. aradiarue reblogged this from spaceplasma
  21. skyghe reblogged this from paradoxicalparadigms
  22. paradoxicalparadigms reblogged this from megacosms
  23. thep0po reblogged this from megacosms