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Daphnis and Saturn's rings, Cassini image


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Daphnis and Saturn's rings, Cassini image. Animation tracking across from the tiny moon Daphnis. Daphnis is embedded in Saturn's rings, and its gravitational influence creates waves as it orbits within the Keeler gap (across centre). Daphnis is only 8 kilometres across, but its gravity is powerful enough to disrupt the tiny particles of the A ring that surround the Keeler gap. Three wave crests of diminishing sizes trail Daphnis here. There is also a faint, thin strand of ring material closer to Daphnis. The data for this image was obtained in visible light at a distance of around 28,000 kilometres. The Cassini spacecraft surveyed the Saturnian system from 2004 to its intentional plunge into Saturn in September 2017. Image data obtained by the narrow-angle camera of Cassini's Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS). Image published in February 2017.

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