CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Warped F Ring
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The gravity of Prometheus alters the orbits of the fine, icy particles in Saturn's F ring, creating dazzling structures like those seen here.

Each of these diagonal features, called "streamer-channels" by ring scientists, represents a single close approach of Prometheus (86 kilometers, 53 miles across) to the inner edge of the ring.

This observation was optimized to show faint details in the F ring, leaving Prometheus (86 kilometers, 53 miles across, at bottom) overexposed. The view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 15 degrees above the ringplane.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Aug. 30, 2008. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.2 million kilometers (751,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 7 kilometers (4 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: October 13, 2008 (PIA 10489)
Image/Caption Information
  Warped F Ring
PIA 10489

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