The tiny wavemaker moon Daphnis is dwarfed by the very waves it creates on the edge of the Keeler gap as seen by NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
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Dwarfed Wavemaker

The tiny wavemaker moon Daphnis is dwarfed by the very waves it creates on the edge of the Keeler gap. Daphnis (5 miles, or 8 kilometers across), a tiny dot in the Keeler gap, raises waves on the edges of that gap as it passes the ring material. Daphnis' gravitational encounters also maintain the gap, shepherding material back into the ring.

The two bright dots between the A and F ring are stars. For more about Daphnis, see PIA06238.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 50 degrees below the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Jan. 15, 2013.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 870,000 miles (1.4 million kilometers) from Daphnis and at a Sun-Daphnis-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 99 degrees. Image scale is 5 miles (8 kilometers) per pixel.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.

Image details

ID#:
PIA14648

Date added:
2013-04-22

Target:
Daphnis

Spacecraft:
Cassini Orbiter

Instruments:
Imaging Science Subsystem - Narrow Angle

Rating:



Views:
1,145

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA14648.tif (1.04 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA14648.jpg (0.06 MB)

Image credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute