CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Spokes on the Wheel
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Spokes on the Wheel
PIA 10423

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  As they wheel about the planet, Saturn's sunlit rings often exhibit dark, radial markings called spokes.

Spokes are seen only in the broad B ring, and can also appear bright in certain viewing geometries (see PIA08302).

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 11 degrees below the ringplane. Pandora (81 kilometers, 50 miles across) is a speck above the rings at left. The planet's shadow darkens the ringplane at lower right.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on June 3, 2008. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1 million kilometers (636,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 19 degrees. Image scale is 61 kilometers (38 miles) per pixel.

The Cassini Equinox Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. 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 Equinox Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: July 11, 2008 (PIA 10423)
Image/Caption Information