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Prometheus pulls away from an encounter with Saturn's F ring, leaving behind a reminder of its passage.
Prometheus (86 kilometers, 53 miles across) approaches closely to the F ring once during each circuit around Saturn, disturbing the orbits of the small particles in the ring and creating a streamer of material that then shears out, following the moon as it speeds off.
This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 37 degrees above the ringplane. Prometheus is brightly lit by the Sun on one side and lit more modestly by Saturn's reflected light on the other side.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 18, 2007 at a distance of approximately 2 million kilometers (1.2 million miles) from Prometheus and at a Sun-Prometheus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 87 degrees. Image scale is 12 kilometers (7 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 Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The imaging team consists of scientists from the US, England, France, and Germany. The imaging operations center and team lead (Dr. C. Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.