CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Amidst and Beyond the Rings
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Amidst and Beyond the Rings
PIA 17135

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  While the moon Epimetheus passes by, beyond the edge of Saturn's main rings, the tiny moon Daphnis carries on its orbit within the Keeler gap of the A ring. Although quite different in size, both moons create waves in the rings thanks to their gravitational effect.

Epimetheus (70 miles, 113 kilometers across) is visible at the lower-right of the image. Daphnis (5 miles, 8 kilometers across) is barely visible at one pixel wide just below-right of the image center. A close inspection of the image also reveals the waves Daphnis creates on the edges of the Keeler gap.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 2.6 degrees below the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 28, 2013.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 808,000 miles (1.3 million kilometers) from Daphnis and at a Sun-Daphnis-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 28 degrees. Image scale is 5 miles (8 kilometers) per pixel.

The Cassini Solstice 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 Solstice Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Released: November 25, 2013 (PIA 17135)
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