CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Fingerprints of the Shepherds
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The F ring and outer edge of the A ring can be seen in this image. In the F ring, a kink feature is visible, 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 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: December 30, 2008 (PIA 10545)
Image/Caption Information
  Fingerprints of the Shepherds
PIA 10545

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