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Daphnis Walks the Knife Edge.

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Saturn's Moon Daphnis.
Saturn's Moon Daphnis. Image credit: NASA/JPL/SSI.

Saturn's tiny Moon Daphnis makes waves as it orbits the Ringed Planet. Even though it's only 7 km (4.3 miles) across, the moon's gravity draws material along the edges of the Keeler gap, creating the serrated knife edge you see in this picture. Cassini took this photo on Ocrober 27, 2006 when it was approximately 325,000 kilometers (202,000 miles) from Daphnis.

Daphnis drifts through the Keeler gap, at the center of its entourage of waves.

The little Moon (7 kilometers, or 4.3 miles across) draws material in the Keeler gap (42 kilometers, or 26 miles wide) into these now familiar edge waves as it orbits Saturn.

This view looks toward the lit side of the rings from about 25 degrees below the ringplane.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Oct. 27, 2006 at a distance of approximately 325,000 kilometers (202,000 miles) from Daphnis and at a Sun-Daphnis-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 36 degrees. Image scale is 2 kilometers (1 mile) 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 http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.

Original Source: NASA/JPL/SSI News Release

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