Daphnis, the satellite hiding in the rings of Saturn.
A rock the size of the highest peak in the world (Mount Everest: 5 miles) plays the snowplow to make its way among the ice rocks that make up the rings of the planet Saturn.
On January 16th, 2017, the Cassini spacecraft flew not far from the small moon of Saturn, called Daphnis. It’s the first time we’ve taken a photo so close to the satellite.
NASA calls the small moon Daphnis the wave maker, and it’s not hard to understand why.
When the moon passes through the ice rings, it creates small waves thanks to its weak force of attraction which scientists call the gravitational force. That is to say that on its way, the Daphnis moon attracts very light objects like ice dust, which creates waves behind it, like when a barge passes over a river.
If you take a closer look, you can see a small trail of ice and dust behind it:
The Cassini satellite that took these photos has been on a mission around Saturn since 1997. It will have spent 13 years in orbit around the planet with pretty rings. Its mission ended on September 15th, 2017, when the satellite headed for the North Pole of the planet Saturn to explode like a meteor.
An object that revolves around a planet.
A celestial body that revolves around a planet. For example, the Moon is the natural satellite of the Earth.
The path is taken by a satellite around a planet, or the path of a planet around the sun.
It is a force that brings two bodies together. For example, the force that draws us to the ground.