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Fingerprints of the Shepherds
12.30.08
 
Fingerprints of the Shepherds

The F ring and outer edge of the A ring can be seen in this image. A kink feature is visible in the F ring, probably caused by Prometheus or Pandora, the F ring's shepherd moons.

Another moon, Daphnis, can be seen in the Keeler gap near the outer edge of the A ring, along with the waves Daphnis raises on that gap's edges. Waves like these allow researchers to locate new moons in gaps and also estimate their masses.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Nov. 7, 2008 at a distance of approximately 992,000 kilometers (616,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 48 degrees. Image scale is 6 kilometers (3 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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