CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Prometheus' Trail

The effects of the moon Prometheus create intricate formations in Saturn's thin F ring.

The gravity of potato-shaped Prometheus (86 kilometers, 53 miles across) periodically creates streamer-channels in the F ring. See PIA10461 and PIA10593 to learn more. To watch a movie of this process, see PIA08397.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 9 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 26, 2009. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 922,000 kilometers (573,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 27 degrees. Image scale is 5 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: July 14, 2009 (PIA 11535)
Image/Caption Information
  Prometheus' Trail
PIA 11535

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Alliance Member Comments
mipsandbips (Jul 18, 2009 at 7:30 PM):
A very strange yet inspiring anomaly.
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971 (Jul 15, 2009 at 9:27 AM):
Very interesting and very complicated features.
stowaway (Jul 14, 2009 at 12:21 PM):
follow the breadcrumbs