In the Maxwell gap within Saturn's C ring resides a narrow eccentric ringlet of the same name. Astronomers are studying this ringlet to understand how it is maintained. One possibility is that a small moon or two lurk in the gap. Cassini plans to search for any such moons.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Oct. 25, 2008 at a distance of approximately 876,000 kilometers (545,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 36 degrees. Image scale is 5 kilometers (3 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.