CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Tracking the Shepherd
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Cassini tracks the shepherd moon Prometheus as it orbits Saturn.

This image is part of a sequence designed to monitor the evolution of a streamer of material in the F ring for nearly a full orbit, as it follows Prometheus. Here, Prometheus is just about to pass behind the planet.

The faint streamer lies below and to the right of Prometheus (86 kilometers, 53 miles across), in the faint, inner strand of the F ring. See PIA08397 for a movie sequence of Cassini images that shows Prometheus creating a streamer.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 21 degrees above the ringplane. Saturn's upper atmosphere distorts the image of the rings near the planet's limb.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Aug. 9, 2008. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.3 million kilometers (804,000 miles) from Prometheus. Image scale is 8 kilometers (5 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: September 5, 2008 (PIA 10463)
Image/Caption Information
  Tracking the Shepherd
PIA 10463

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Alliance Member Comments
Red_dragon (Sep 16, 2008 at 3:28 AM):
Another nice image of the "hyper warp" zone. You'd take one of Prometheus so near of Saturn's atmosphere that it appears warped; surely, it's worth to see.

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