Status Report

NASA Cassini Image: A Dead Giveaway

By SpaceRef Editor
November 2, 2006
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Full-Res: PIA08299

Edge waves in the Keeler Gap betray the presence of the embedded moon Daphnis. Though the Cassini spacecraft cannot see Daphnis (7 kilometers, or 4.3 miles across) in this image (because the spacecraft is looking at its dark side), the tiny moon is undoubtedly located right of center, where the inner edge waves cease and the outer waves begin. The little moon was discovered in Cassini images that revealed its signature waves in the Keeler gap (42 kilometers, or 26 miles wide).

At left lies the brilliant F ring with its flanking strands. The bright F ring core is about 50 kilometers (30 miles) wide.

This view looks toward the unlit side of the rings from about 32 degrees above the ringplane.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Sept. 29, 2006 at a distance of approximately 1.7 million kilometers (1 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 157 degrees. Image scale is about 10 kilometers (6 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 mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at .

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

SpaceRef staff editor.