CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Rippled Rings
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Variations in ring particle concentration give Saturn's brilliant rings the appearance of ripples in a pond in this close-up Cassini view. Many of the gaps and wavelike patterns elsewhere in the rings are due to the gravitational influence of Saturn's moons, but the origin of much of the structure in the B ring seen here is still unexplained.

The image was taken with the narrow angle camera on October 29, 2004, from a distance of approximately 824,000 kilometers (512,000 miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 4.5 kilometers (2.8 miles) per pixel. The image has been slightly contrast-enhanced to aid visibility.

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 and the Cassini imaging team home page,

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: December 21, 2004 (PIA 06543)
Image/Caption Information
  Rippled Rings
PIA 06543

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