Prometheus on Saturn’s horizon

Saturn put on another dazzling show (raw image here) for Cassini back on August 9th, 2008.  The brightest object in this image is Prometheus, just over Saturn’s horizon.  The visual distortion of the rings at the Saturn horizon (presumably caused by Saturn’s atmosphere) originally drew me to this image.

Counting outward, Prometheus is Saturn’s 4th known moon (not including inner “moonlets”).  It’s a small (~119km in its longest dimension) non-spherical moon that was discovered in 1980.  It orbits near Saturn’s “F” ring, sometimes close enough to disturb the ring with its gravitational pull (there’s a cool time lapse movie on Prometheus’ Wikipedia page showing this effect, and another on Youtube).

The raw image source page doesn’t mention it, but I presume the wispy irregularity in the “F” ring nearly in the middle of my crop of this image was previously caused by Prometheus.  Thanks to Bill Dunford over at Riding with Robots for posting this image (where I initially Stumbled Upon it).

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