CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Clumpy Ringlets
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Clumpy Ringlets
PIA 18277

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  Although it appears empty from a distance, the Encke gap in Saturn's A ring has three ringlets threaded through it, two of which are visible here.

Each ringlet has dynamical structure such as the clumps seen in this image. The clumps move about and even appear and disappear, in part due to the gravitational effects of Pan.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 27 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 11, 2013.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 199,000 miles (321,000 kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 121 degrees. Image scale is 1 mile (2 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 http://ciclops.org, http://www.nasa.gov/cassini and http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Released: August 25, 2014 (PIA 18277)
Image/Caption Information



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