CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Scanning the Rings

This amazing close-up of Saturn's rings reveals their incredible variety. In some regions there are wavelike structures, while in other places the rings' structure appears to be more chaotic.

This image shows (from top to bottom) the A ring with the Encke gap, the Cassini Division, and the B and C rings.

The image was taken in visible light with the narrow angle camera on April 26, 2005, from a distance of approximately 2.3 million kilometers (1.5 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 14 kilometers (8 miles) per pixel.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. 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-Huygens mission, visit and the Cassini imaging team home page,

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: June 2, 2005 (PIA 07512)
Image/Caption Information
  Scanning the Rings
PIA 07512

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Alliance Member Comments
Dave Gallagher (Jun 15, 2009 at 9:27 AM):
As I'm sure is the case for most or all of us who frequent this site, I derive a great deal of inspiration from the imagery we're pulling back from the Saturn system. It gives me perspective at times when worldly ("Earthly") pursuits and troubles could cause me to otherwise lose my bearings.

As I was looking for inside information on the current (as I post) election turmoil in Iran, I came upon the postings of this Twitter user:

At least as of today, the background for that page is one of the grand views of the Rings. It's uplifting to realize that even those in the most troubled circumstances can find inspiration of their own from the same images that delight us daily.