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The Perturber
04.10.07
The Perturber

The oblong form of Prometheus glides by, trailing behind it wiggles in Saturn's ribbon-like F ring.

Prometheus (102 kilometers, or 63 miles across) causes a great deal of perturbation to the F ring, including kinks, knots and gores in the shape of the ring structure. By studying the moon and its interactions with the F ring scientists are learning a great deal about how ring structures form and evolve.

This view looks toward the unlit side of the rings from about 27 degrees above the ringplane.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Feb. 24, 2007 at a distance of approximately 1.5 million kilometers (900,000 miles) from Prometheus. Image scale is 9 kilometers (6 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.

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

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

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