One of the innermost of Saturn's moons.
It was discovered by Richard Terrile in 1980 from Voyager
1 photos and is also known as Saturn XV.
|Atlas, as imaged by Cassini on June 8, 2005
|Atlas, as imaged by Cassini on June 12, 2007,
from over the moon's south pole
Atlas orbits near the outer edge of the A-ring (see Saturn's
rings) and it was originally suspected of acting as a shepherd
moon for this ring. However, it is now known that the outer edge
of the A-ring is kept sharp due to a 7:6 orbital resonance with the
larger but more distant moons Janus and Epimetheus.
Images taken by the Cassini spacecraft have shown that Atlas has very
prominent equatorial ridge, which makes the moon saucer-shaped. The
most likely cause of this structure is ring material that has been swept
up by the moon as it travels around its orbit.
||1980, by R. Terrile/Voyager 1
||137,670 km (85,560 miles)
||46 × 38 × 19 km (29 × 24 ×
||0.602 day (14 hr 27 mins)
- The star 27 Tauri, the second brightest star in the Pleiades,
with a visual magnitude of 3.63, is also known as Atlas.
- The Atlas rocket is an important
launch vehicle in America's space program.
- The ATLAS particle detector is one of several particle detector experiments associated with the Large Hadron Collider – the world's largest particle accelerator – at CERN.