Cassini Spacecraft Photographed Closest View of Saturn’s Moon Daphnis
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Cassini Spacecraft Photographed Closest View of Saturn’s Moon Daphnis

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which is orbiting Saturn since 1997, has photographed a spectacular view of the wave-maker moon of the planet. During its recent close flyby, the space probe clicked the stunning and closest view of Saturn’s inner satellite – Daphnis. During the period, when Cassini was conducting the ring-grazing event at the external edges of Saturn’s rings, the sight of the inner moon of the planet captured by the onboard camera, said NASA.

The US-based space agency also published the closest view of Daphnis on the social media for public access. According to NASA, the picture was framed on 16th January 2017. It is the closest view of the small moon of Saturn, clicked yet. As reported by NASA, the gravity of the small moon moves up the cosmic waves in the edges’ gaps, found in both the horizontal and vertical tracks. The first sight of the vertical structures of the small moon of Saturn was detected by Cassini in 2009, during the time of Saturn’s equinox.

The picture was clicked in the green visible light. The Cassini spacecraft with its narrow-angle camera has captured the stunning and closest view of Daphnis, said NASA in its official statement. The spacecraft, while clicking the picture was positioned at a distance of about 28,000 kilometers (17,000 miles) from the moon itself. At a Sun-Daphnis-spacecraft, with the angle of 71 degrees, the picture was clicked. The scale of the image is 551 feet (168 meters) per pixel.

To recall, Daphnis is one of the 62 identified moons of Saturn and probably the most vital one. Being only 5-miles wide and having only 8-kilometer diameter, Daphnis seems like a mere dot when compared to its massive parent – Saturn. However, besides its diminutive size, the inner moon of has maintained a big impact on the atmosphere of Saturn.

According to NASA, Cassini first spotted the “wave-maker moon” in 2005 when it was gazing through the 26-mile-wide host of moon – the Keeler Gap, located in Saturn’s outer rings. In 2009 around the period of the Saturn’s equinox, the spacecraft successfully clicked the vertical structures, created by Daphnis made. However, the new picture is the closest view of the small moon, obtained ever.