Shepherds Fly

 

Prometheus and Atlas' Passing
Prometheus and Atlas' Passing

Two of Saturn’s smaller moons pass by Cassini’s wide-angle camera in this animation sequence, made from 60 raw images taken on May 26, 2009. Prometheus enters first, stage right, deforming the ringlets of the F ring with its gravity, and is followed shortly after by Atlas, taking the inside track around the edge of the A ring. Streaks of starlight flicker in the background.

The dynamics of the F ring, pulled into streamers by the lemon-shaped Prometheus, are clearly evident here.

Raw image credit: NASA/JPL/SSI. Animation: J. Major.