Nice. Ever noticed how Saturn’s rings look striped in photos, like from Voyager? It’s because shepherd moons like these two create gaps by gravitationally perturbing particles as they pass nearby. And look how skinny the rings appear. At 140,000 km radius and 10 m average thickness, Saturn’s rings are proportionally much thinner than a piece of paper.
Originally shared by SETI Institute
Moons In Hiding
Prometheus (53 miles or 86 kilometers across) and Pandora (50 miles or 81 kilometers across) orbit along side Saturn’s narrow F ring, which is shaped, in part, by their gravitational influences help to shape that ring. Their proximity to the rings also means that they often lie on the same line of sight as the rings, sometimes making them difficult to spot.
In this image, Prometheus is the left most moon in the ring plane, roughly in the center of the image. Pandora is towards the right.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
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