Daphnis’ Waves

Saturn's moon Daphnis creates waves of disturbance in the Keeler Gap
May 20, 2009
PIA NumberPIA11496
  • english

Saturn's moon Daphnis creates waves of disturbance in the Keeler Gap in this image of the wide A ring and narrow F ring.

Daphnis (8 kilometers, or 5 miles across) is a small point of light in the center of this image which shows the moon's gravity creating perturbations in the material at the edges of the narrow Keeler gap. (See Daphnis At Work for a higher-resolution image of this process.) Background stars appear as bright specks in the wider Encke Gap of the A ring near the bottom of the image, and elsewhere in the image.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 60 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on March 30, 2009. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.3 million kilometers (808,000 miles) from Daphnis and at a Sun-Daphnis-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 69 degrees. Image scale is 8 kilometers (5 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 http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute