CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Gored of the Rings
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Gored of the Rings
PIA 18270

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  Prometheus is caught in the act of creating gores and streamers in the F ring. Scientists believe that Prometheus and its partner-moon Pandora are responsible for much of the structure in the F ring.

The orbit of Prometheus (53 miles, 86 kilometers across) regularly brings it into the F ring. When this happens, it creates gores, or channels, in the ring where it entered. Prometheus then draws ring material with it as it exits the ring, leaving streamers in its wake. This process creates the pattern of structures seen in this image. This process is described in detail, along with a movie of Prometheus creating one of the streamer/channel features, in PIA08397.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 8.6 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Feb. 11, 2014.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.3 million miles (2.1 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 147 degrees. Image scale is 8 miles (12 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: June 9, 2014 (PIA 18270)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
NeKto (Jun 10, 2014 at 8:02 AM):
Is there a wizard on Prometheus? for some reason the name Landalf comes to mind. another 'magical' image from the wonderful robot. the Cassini probe has made marvelous images routine. i wonder what i am going to fill the time i have been spending here with when our camera toting friend is finally retired.

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