Earhart Propeller
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Earhart Propeller

August 20, 2013
Cassini scientists continue their quest to understand the origin and evolution of the newly discovered features observed in Saturn's A ring which have become known as "propellers." In this image, the propeller which scientists have dubbed "Earhart" (at the lower left of the image) has been re-acquired.

Scientists hope to understand how the bodies which generate the features -- themselves too small to be seen, yet significantly larger than a typical ring particle -- move around the ring over time. It is hoped that these features may provide insights about how forming planets move around their solar systems. For more on Earhart, see Sunlit Propeller.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 48 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 11, 2013.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 250,000 miles (400,000 kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 99 degrees. Image scale is 1 mile (2 kilometers) per pixel.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

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