Saturn's Moon Creates Spectacular Ripples in Planet's Rings

Saturn's Moon Creates Spectacular Ripples in Planet's Rings

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Saturn has many moons and they're all fascinating in their own ways.

A new picture from NASA's Cassini probe shows off the peculiarity of Daphnis, a moon so tiny it wasn't discovered until 2005.

It is just 8 kilometers (5 miles) across, and irregularly shaped, which gives it a wobbly orbit.

If it was elsewhere, maybe this would be unremarkable, but Daphnis coasts around inside Saturn's A ring, in a space called the Keeler Gap.

It is also what is called a shepherd moon (named after a shepherd from Greek mythology), which is a moon that clears a gap in a planetary ring.

The Keeler gap is just 42 kilometers (26 miles) wide, and Daphnis' distance varies from Saturn by about 9 kilometers (5.6 miles), while it moves up and down by about 17 kilometers (10.5 miles).

This eccentricity, and Daphnis' gravity, causes peaked waves to form on the edges of the gap, in both vertical and horizontal directions.

In this new image, taken from a distance of 28,000 kilometers (17,000 miles), one can see a faint tendril of material to Daphnis' left, following in its wake.

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