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The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

Ten shots of the F ring

Filed under pretty pictures, Cassini, amateur image processing, Saturn's small moons, Saturn's moons, Saturn's rings

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Ten shots of the F ring Cassini captured these 10 views of the F ring on July 5, 2008, as part of a survey to understand the F ring's structure. Prometheus, the inner shepherd of the F ring, is visible in the leftmost image (overexposed).

NASA / JPL-Caltech / SSI / montage by Emily Lakdawalla

Fans in the F ring

NASA / JPL-Caltech / SSI / QMUL

Fans in the F ring
This unusual view of the F ring is a mosaic of 10 images, reprojected to take the bend out of the ring, and then compressed by a ratio of 33 to 1 in order to reveal the odd structures that cross the rings. The moon Prometheus is a bright streak at the extreme right edge of the mosaic. The F ring has several strands that are crossed by dark channels, gores caused by Prometheus' once-per-orbit collision with the ring. Above each gore is a set of fans. The fans (marked "F" in the annotated version below) can be seen developing as a series of channels within the F ring's particles. They appear to have a common origin but spread outward radially in different directions. Gravitational perturbations on ring material by a moonlet or clump of material can create these fans. The moonlet or clump orbits more or less elliptically compared to the rest of the F ring. It is probably embedded in the ring and causes the base of the fan channels to meet.

Original image data dated on or about July 5, 2008.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. For uses not allowed by that license, contact us to request publication permission from the copyright holder: Emily Lakdawalla


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