Kinky, discontinuous ringlets occupy the Encke Gap in Saturn's A ring in the middle of this Cassini image.
During the planet's August 2009 equinox, parts of these thin ringlets cast shadows onto the A ring (see PIA11676).
This view looks toward the northern, unilluminated side of the rings from about 17 degrees below the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Jan. 8, 2010. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.6 million kilometers (1 million miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 9 kilometers (6 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.