CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Gores in the Strands

Seen here is the end result of the process that occurs every time the moon Prometheus closely approaches Saturn's F ring. The moon cuts a dark channel in the ring's inner edge that then shears out over successive orbits, giving the ring the unique appearance seen here.

Of particular interest in this view is the faint fan of small-scale gores seen at the ring's ansa. These features are left of center in the frame, immediately to the left of a bright clump there. The small gores are formed in the same manner as the larger ones created by Prometheus: a small moonlet orbiting in the F ring forms gores because of its eccentric orbit relative to the overall F ring.

This process is described in detail, along with a movie of Prometheus creating one of the streamer/channel features, in PIA08397.

The view is toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 3 degrees below the ringplane.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Oct. 25, 2007. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 624,000 kilometers (388,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-ring-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 23 degrees. Image scale is 3 kilometers (2 miles) per pixel.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. 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-Huygens mission, visit and the Cassini imaging team home page,

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: November 29, 2007 (PIA 09782)
Image/Caption Information
  Gores in the Strands
PIA 09782

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Alliance Member Comments
gandalf (Dec 2, 2007 at 11:20 AM):
Excellent image of the effects caused by tiny Prometheus' close approach to the F-ring. Keep up the good work CICLOPS !
Kevin S. Moore (Nov 29, 2007 at 11:09 PM):
Then we have absolutly no doubt that it is Prometheus that cause's in part,
the brading of the F-Ring as was observered in the Voyager 2 photos. Cassini
gives us a better resolution than Voyager. That is not a bad thing.. it is
a better result. Excellent. Go Cassini..!


2nd shift worker at the hospital..