Astronomy Picture of the Day

Prometheus and the Rings of Saturn

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#60628 by @ 18.12.2004 00:00 - nach oben -
Prometheus and the Rings of Saturn


In Greek Mythology,
Prometheus was known for stealing fire from
the gods.

Ironically, in a story for more modern times Prometheus
may also become known for stealing, but this time for stealing
icy particles from Saturn's rings.

This eerie close-up
from the Cassini spacecraft shows the
100 kilometer-long
Saturnian moon Prometheus
near the inner edge of Saturn's F ring.

The dramatic view clearly resolves the potato-shaped moon and
multiple strands of the narrow
F ring.

It also reveals a faint strand of material connecting
Prometheus with the rings.

One possibility is that the tiny moon's gravity is indeed
drawing off particles from the rings and is
influencing the
formation of the gaps and kinks seen in the ring structure.

News: APOD editor to speak in January in New York

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#60743 by @ 18.12.2004 17:31 - nach oben -