Bruce Murray Space Image Library
Aegaeon, G ring, stars, and cosmic ray hits
Filed under pretty pictures, Cassini, Saturn's small moons, Saturn's moons
The bright dot in the center of this image is the tiny (about 500-meter-diameter) moon Aegaeon, the parent body of the G ring. The G ring, which is composed of dust knocked off of Aegaeon by meteorite impacts, crosses the image from top to bottom. Long, nearly horizontal streaks are background stars, elongated into trails during the long exposure. Randomly oriented spots and streaks are cosmic ray hits, which decorate all Cassini images but are especially noticeable in long exposures taken while the spacecraft is buried in Saturn's radiation belts.
NASA / JPL / SSI
Original image data dated on or about January 27, 2010
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