CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Secretive Rings
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Secretive Rings
PIA 09758

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  Saturn's rings cut across their own shadows on the planet and hide a tiny secret.

Barely visible in the Encke Gap is the embedded moon Pan (28 kilometers, 17 miles across). The Encke Gap is the thin, dark line near the rings' outer edge; Pan is a faint speck halfway between center and right.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 5 degrees below the ringplane.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Sept. 18, 2007 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 750 nanometers. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 3.4 million kilometers (2.1 million miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 20 kilometers (13 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.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and the Cassini imaging team home page, http://ciclops.org.

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: October 26, 2007 (PIA 09758)
Image/Caption Information


Alliance Member Comments
ANAKA HURAKAN (Oct 29, 2007 at 4:32 AM):
SATURNS RINGS ARE A STUNNING SIGHT.GIVEN THE FACT THAT THEY ARE REMNANTS FROM THE PAST.ALL THE PLANETS MUST HAVE SURELY POSSESED RINGS LONG AGO.

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