The clumpy disturbed appearance of the brilliant F ring constantly changes. The irregular structure of the ring is due, in large part, to the gravitational perturbations on the ring material by Prometheus (86 kilometers, 53 miles across).
Interior to the F ring, the A ring bears a striking resemblance to a classic grooved vinyl record. Visible here are the Keeler gap (42 kilometers, 26 miles wide) and the Encke gap (325 kilometers, 200 miles wide).
The image was taken using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 862 nanometers. The view was acquired with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on July 26, 2006 at a distance of approximately 1.5 million kilometers (900,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 141 degrees. Image scale is 8 kilometers (5 miles) per pixel.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The imaging team consists of scientists from the US, England, France, and Germany. The imaging operations center and team lead (Dr. C. Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.