CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

A Story of Saturn's Rings

Complex, galaxy-like behavior of the outer edge of Saturn's B ring, the controlling gravitational influence of Saturn's moon Mimas, mountainous structures along the B ring's edge reaching 3.5-km high, and a lone moonlet orbiting nearby are all part of a story derived from examination of four year's worth of Cassini images, published today in the Astronomical Journal. From it have come long-sought insights into the origin of the chaotic structures in the densest portions of Saturn's rings, and a hint of what the early history of this part of the rings might have been like. (News release can be found here.)

Nov 1, 2010: Galactic Behavior for the Outer B Ring - Keeping a close watch on the outer portion of Saturn's B ring, NASA's Cassini spacecraft records the complex inward and outward movement of the edge of the ring.
Nov 1, 2010: Oscillations at B Ring Edge - This movie, made from images obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft of the outer edge of Saturn's B ring, reveals the combined effects of a tugging moon and oscillations that can naturally occur in disks like Saturn's rings and spiral galaxies.
Nov 1, 2010: Strange Things Afoot in the B Ring - The outer edge of Saturn's B ring exhibits an unexpected feature in this movie made from images captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
Nov 1, 2010: Long Spiky Shadows - Vertical structures in the variable outer edge of Saturn's B ring cast shadows in these two images captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft shortly after the planet's August 2009 northern vernal equinox.
Nov 1, 2010: The Tallest Peaks - Vertical structures, among the tallest seen in Saturn's main rings, rise abruptly from the edge of Saturn's B ring to cast long shadows on the ring in this image taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft two weeks before the planet's August 2009 equinox.

Aug 7, 2009: A Small Find near Equinox - The Cassini spacecraft captured this image of a small object in the outer portion of Saturn's B ring casting a shadow on the rings as Saturn approaches its August 2009 equinox.