Great Shot! Moon of Saturn Seen in New Light

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. (Image credit: Cassini Imaging Team, ISS, JPL, ESA, NASA)

Recent pictures of a tiny oblong moon of Saturn — calledPrometheus — have revealed new details about the intriguing rocky satellite.

The pictures, taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, show Prometheusas a potato-shaped Saturn moon about 62 miles (100 km) long. Its surface is pockmarkedall over with impact craters from smaller space rocks that have smashed intoit.

Prometheus is perched outside the orbit of the bulk ofSaturn's rings, but inside a thin outer band called the F Ring. Earlier Cassiniphotos show the small moon has been tugging the F Ring,creating kinks in its shape. [See photosof Saturn's moons.]

Cassini has been orbiting Saturn since 2004 and made a closeflyby of Prometheus in January to record the new snapshots. Digitallyremastered photos from the encounter were released last month.

Cassini, a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agencyand the Italian Space Agency, launched in 1997. The prolific probe recently receiveda mission extension that should keep it going through 2017.

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Clara Moskowitz
Assistant Managing Editor

Clara Moskowitz is a science and space writer who joined the team in 2008 and served as Assistant Managing Editor from 2011 to 2013. Clara has a bachelor's degree in astronomy and physics from Wesleyan University, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She covers everything from astronomy to human spaceflight and once aced a NASTAR suborbital spaceflight training program for space missions. Clara is currently Associate Editor of Scientific American. To see her latest project is, follow Clara on Twitter.