Thieving Moon: Prometheus

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Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Record ID

SPI_178

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Division

Center for Earth and Planetary Studies

Creator

Cassini spacecraft

Medium

Satellite transmission

Date

Date unknown

Description

As it completed its first orbit of Saturn, the <I>Cassini</I> spacecraft zoomed in on the planet?s rings to catch this wondrous view of the shepherd moon Prometheus influencing the multistrand and kinked F ring, which resolves into five separate strands in this close-up view. The potato-shaped Prometheus is connected to the ringlets by a faint strand of material. While imaging scientists are not sure exactly how this moon interacts with the F ring, some speculate that it may be gravitationally pulling away from the ring. The ringlets are disturbed in several other places as well; in some places discontinuities or kinks are visible, while in others gaps in the diffuse inner strands can be seen. All of these features are apparently due to the influence of Prometheus.

Image ID

ASU-IPF-2228

Type

Photographs

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