CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Understanding the Prometheus Effect

New Cassini imaging results to be published in tomorrow's issue of the journal Nature show that the prominent gores and drapes seen first in Cassini images of Saturn's contorted F ring can be understood in terms of a simple gravitational interaction with the shepherd moon Prometheus.

Oct 26, 2005: The Prometheus Effect - This mosaic of 15 Cassini images of the F ring shows how Prometheus creates a gore in the ring once every 14.7 hours as it approaches and recedes from the F ring on its eccentric orbit.

Jul 1, 2004: Saturn Rings Processed #6 - These two images, a wide angle camera image (top) and a narrow angle camera image (bottom), of Saturn's rings were taken after the successful completion of the orbit insertion burn when the spacecraft had crossed the ring plane and was looking upwards at the lit face of the rings.

Dec 3, 2004: Thieving Moon - As it completed its first orbit of Saturn, Cassini zoomed in on the rings to catch this wonderful view of the shepherd moon Prometheus (102 kilometers, 63 miles across) working its influence on the multi-stranded and kinked F ring.

Sep 5, 2005: Shaping the Drapes - This movie sequence from Cassini shows dark drapes in the inner strands of the F ring caused by the gravitational influence of the shepherd moon Prometheus (102 kilometers, 63 miles across).