CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Propeller, Light and Dark
[For trouble viewing the images/movies on this page, go here]
Cassini has been monitoring propeller features since their discovery. Here the propeller dubbed Bleriot is seen in a recent image. The bright dash-like features are regions where a small moonlet has caused ring particles to cluster together more densely than normal. Beyond the bright areas are fainter, longer dark linear features. These are believed to be extended regions where the same moonlet has caused particles to evacuate, leaving an under-dense (thus darker) area.

To learn more about propellers, see PIA07792 and PIA07791. For more of Bleriot, see PIA12789.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 33 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 3, 2013.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 301,000 miles (484,000 kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 119 degrees. Image scale is 2 miles (3 kilometers) per pixel.

The Cassini Solstice 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 Solstice Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Released: June 24, 2013 (PIA 14666)
Image/Caption Information
  Propeller, Light and Dark
PIA 14666

Avg Rating: 8.79/10

Full Size 1014x1014:
PNG 605 KB

Want to add a comment?   Login (for Alliance Members) ... or ... Join the CICLOPS Alliance!