Shepherds Fly

  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…

Streaming Along

  Another animation, this time from April 24, 2009, made from 116 raw images from the Cassini spacecraft. The orbiting Cassini focused its camera on Prometheus as it dipped into the F ring and back out again, pulling the icy dust into wispy strands with its passing. Prometheus’ oblong shape can be seen clearly here…it…

The Pull of Prometheus

Prometheus’ effect on Saturn’s ropy F ring is evident in this photo from Cassini, taken March 7, 2009. As the irregularly-shaped shepherd moon approaches the ring material in its looping orbit around Saturn, it draws material from the ring in towards itself, warping and stretching the ring particles into waving streamers that eventually settle and…

Prometheus Unbound

  One of several tiny “shepherd” moons, a well-lit Prometheus cruises the gap between Saturn’s A and F rings, clearing the channel while pulling up a small plume of material from the ropy F ring as it passes by. This is from raw image data shot by Cassini on February 10, 2009. I adjusted the image…