Daphnis Up Close

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The wavemaker moon, Daphnis, is featured in this view, taken as NASA’s Cassini booster done one of a ring-grazing passes over a outdoor edges of Saturn’s rings on Jan. 16, 2017. This is a closest perspective of a tiny moon performed yet.

Daphnis (5 miles or 8 kilometers across) orbits within a 42-kilometer (26-mile) far-reaching Keeler Gap. Cassini’s observation angle causes a opening to seem narrower than it indeed is, due to foreshortening.

The tiny moon’s sobriety raises waves in a edges of a opening in both a plane and straight directions. Cassini was means to observe a straight structures in 2009, around a time of Saturn’s equinox (see PIA11654).

Like a integrate of Saturn’s other tiny ring moons, Atlas and Pan, Daphnis appears to have a slight shallow around a equator and a sincerely well-spoken layer of element on a aspect — expected an accumulation of excellent particles from a rings. A few craters are apparent during this resolution. An additional shallow can be seen serve north that runs together to a equatorial band.

Fine sum in a rings are also on arrangement in this image. In particular, a grainy hardness is seen in several far-reaching lanes that hints during structures where particles are clumping together. In comparison to a differently pointy edges of a Keeler Gap, a call rise in a opening corner during left has a malleable appearance. This is presumably due to a transformation of excellent ring particles being widespread out into a opening following Daphnis’ final tighten proceed to that corner on a prior orbit.

A faint, slight staple of ring element follows only behind Daphnis (to a left). This might have resulted from a impulse when Daphnis drew a parcel of element out of a ring, and now that parcel is swelling itself out.

The picture was taken in manifest (green) light with a Cassini booster narrow-angle camera. The perspective was acquired during a stretch of approximately 17,000 miles (28,000 kilometers) from Daphnis and during a Sun-Daphnis-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 71 degrees. Image scale is 551 feet (168 meters) per pixel.

The Cassini goal is a mild plan of NASA, ESA (the European Space Agency) and a Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a multiplication of a California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages a goal for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The Cassini orbiter and a dual onboard cameras were designed, grown and fabricated during JPL. The imaging operations core is formed during a Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

Source: NASA