CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Detailing Dark Spokes
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Cassini images dark spokes on Saturn's B ring.

Spokes are radial markings scientists continue to study, and they can be seen here stretching left to right across the image. Spokes appear bright when they are viewed at phase, or Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, angles higher than about 45 degrees. However, this image was taken at a phase angle of 20 degrees. See PIA11144 and PIA08288 to learn more.

This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from about 5 degrees above the ringplane.

The image was taken in visible red light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Jan. 27, 2010. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 260,000 kilometers (162,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 18 kilometers (11 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: March 9, 2010 (PIA 12585)
Image/Caption Information
  Detailing Dark Spokes
PIA 12585

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