CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Feeling Gravity's Pull
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Brilliant Prometheus pulls at the nearby inner strand of Saturn's F ring. Gravitational tugs from Prometheus are constantly reshaping this narrow ring.

Prometheus (86 kilometers, 53 miles across) is lit at right by the Sun and at left by reflected light from Saturn.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 40 degrees below the ringplane. The glow on the right side of the moon is due to light scattered within the camera optics.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on July 22, 2008. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 546,000 kilometers (339,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 45 degrees. Image scale is 3 kilometers (2 miles) per pixel.

The Cassini Equinox Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. 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 was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. 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.

For more information about the Cassini Equinox Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: August 27, 2008 (PIA 10456)
Image/Caption Information
  Feeling Gravity's Pull
PIA 10456

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Alliance Member Comments
rulesfor (Aug 28, 2008 at 1:17 PM):
peel back the mountains, peel back the sky
Red_dragon (Aug 28, 2008 at 12:07 PM):
This is one of the most dramatic images you've ever released. The way Prometheus' gravity warps the F-ring and the perspective is really impressive. Good work!