NASA's Cassini Takes Closest View Of Saturn's 'Wavemaker Moon Daphnis

Posted: Jan 21 2017, 2:31pm CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

NASA's Cassini Takes Closest View of Moon Daphnis
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
 

Cassini Captured Close View of Small Moon Daphnis

New image of moon Daphnis released recently which was taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. The image was taken from a close distance on Jan 16, 2017.  According to NASA, Daphnis orbits within 42 km wide Keeler Gap. The image was taken from such an angle that showed it narrower.

Daphnis gravity cause waves in gaps edges in vertical as well as horizontal directions. Cassini could detect only vertical structure in 2009 when there was Saturn’s equinox.

Other moons on Saturn are Pan and Atlas, but unlikethem Daphnis has narrow ridge around the equator that has smooth surface caused by fine particles accumulation. The image also includes another ridge in the north that is parallel to the equatorial band.

The rings have details including grainy texture in the wide lanes that point out the area with particles. Compared to Keeler Gap, the wave peak is softer, that’s due to fine particles movement going on in the gap and followed Daphnis closeness.

There isalso a narrow tendril of the ring behind the Daphnis in the leftside, caused by a material outside the ring but now it’s spreading out.

Cassini’s narrow angle camera took the image with its green light. Cassini spacecraft took the view from a distance of 17000 miles from Daphnis at an angle of 17 degrees. Image is 155 feet per pixel.

Three agencies worked together on Cassini mission, including NASA, and ESA, European Space Agency, and ISA Italian Space Agency. The mission is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadenafor NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. 

Cassini’stwo powerful and high resolution cameras and orbiter were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado was used for imaging operations

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