Advertisements

Ghosts of Worlds Passed

Animation of Saturn's F ring and shepherd moons

Animation of Saturn’s F ring and shepherd moons

Saturn’s F ring is a fascinating structure. Made of fine icy particles — most no larger than the particulates found in cigarette smoke — it orbits Saturn just outside the A ring and is easily perturbed by the gravity of nearby moons and embedded moonlets, which create streamers and clumps that rise up in fanciful shapes.

This brief animation, made from 33 raw images captured by Cassini on December 26 (otherwise known locally as my birthday!) shows the F ring in action as it follows shepherd moons Prometheus and smaller Atlas around Saturn. Some motion is due to the orbits of the rings and moons, and some is due to the spacecraft itself.

You can watch a slower version of the animation below:

F-ring3

The outer edge of the A ring is at upper left.

Images: NASA/JPL/SSI. Animation by J. Major

Advertisements

About Jason Major

Jason is a Rhode Island-based graphic designer, photographer, nature lover, space exploration fanatic, and coffee addict. In no particular order.

Posted on December 27, 2012, in Saturn's Moons and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. 26th? Happy birthday!

    Like

%d bloggers like this: