Fresh from an encounter with Saturn's F ring, the moon Prometheus continues in its orbit.
The gravity of potato-shaped Prometheus (86 kilometers, or 53 miles across) periodically creates streamer-channels in the F ring. See Opening a Channel and Busy Moon to learn more. To watch a movie of this process, see Soft Collision. Most of Prometheus is overexposed in this image.
This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 44 degrees below the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 24, 2009. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1 million kilometers (621,000 miles) from Prometheus and at a Sun-Prometheus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 75 degrees. Image scale is 6 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.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute