Great Shot! Moon of Saturn Seen in New Light
The Cassini spacecraft team has digitally remastered this new image of Saturn's moon Prometheus, showing more clearly its oblong shape, as well as numerous craters over its 100-kilometer length.
CREDIT: Cassini Imaging Team, ISS, JPL, ESA, NASA
Recent pictures of a tiny oblong moon of Saturn called Prometheus have revealed new details about the intriguing rocky satellite.
The pictures, taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, show Prometheus as a potato-shaped Saturn moon about 62 miles (100 km) long. Its surface is pockmarked all over with impact craters from smaller space rocks that have smashed into it.
Prometheus is perched outside the orbit of the bulk of Saturn's rings, but inside a thin outer band called the F Ring. Earlier Cassini photos show the small moon has been tugging the F Ring, creating kinks in its shape. [See photos of Saturn's moons.]
Cassini has been orbiting Saturn since 2004 and made a close flyby of Prometheus in January to record the new snapshots. Digitally remastered photos from the encounter were released last month.
Cassini, a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency, launched in 1997. The prolific probe recently received a mission extension that should keep it going through 2017.
- Gallery - The Rings and Moons of Saturn
- Top 10 Extreme Planet Facts
- Vote Now! Cassini's Greatest Hits: Images of Saturn
MORE FROM SPACE.com