Thursday, January 26, 2017

Images of Saturn's Moon Daphnis

Carolyn Porco writes:

Our recent close up images of Saturn's rings, taken from orbits that have Cassini plunging through the ring plane and scraping the outer part of the main rings, have started to arrive here on Earth!

Take a look at our latest, incredibly detailed image if Daphnis! This is the 5-mile-wide icy moon that we discovered early in the mission occupying the Keeler gap near the outer edge of the rings. It creates waves in the gap's edges that are actually mountainous piles of ring rubble ... a startling find that we couldn't have made until the equinox of 2009, when sun angles on the rings were shallow and even the slightest protuberances cast long tell-tale shadows.

Our new picture of Daphnis shows details not only on its surface, but also structures formed by its gravitational effect on the rings.
Stay tuned! There will be more to come to Cassini's dramatic end at Saturn. The thrill of discovery never gets old.

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