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Prometheus Shepherding the Rings.


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Saturn's shepherd Moon Prometheus.
Saturn's shepherd Moon Prometheus hovers between the A and F rings. Image credit; NASA/JPL/SSI.

In this beautiful image, Saturn's shepherd Moon Prometheus hovers above the planet's A and F rings. It's also possible to see bright clouds on the surface of Saturn, passing through the ring shadows. This photograph was taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on June 3, 2005, when it was approximately 2.1 million km (1.3 million miles) away from Saturn.

Saturn's shepherd Moon Prometheus hovers between the A and F rings as if suspended on an invisible thread, while bright clouds drift in Saturn's atmosphere approximately 130,000 kilometers (81,000 miles) beyond. It is noteworthy that such clouds are visible here in the shadows cast by the rings. Prometheus is 102 kilometers (63 miles) across.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 3, 2005, at a distance of approximately 2.1 million kilometers (1.3 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 13 kilometers (8 miles) per pixel. This view was processed to enhance fine details.

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 team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.




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