CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Clumps for Encke

Squinting at this view of Saturn's rings reveals not one but two of the four narrow ringlets in the Encke gap (325 kilometers, 200 miles wide). The innermost of the two ringlets being much brighter and full of clumps.

The complicated and dynamic features in the Encke gap are extensively influenced by the presence of Pan (28 kilometers, 17 miles across), which orbits in the center of the gap. The Encke gap may contain other small moonlets which Imaging Team members hope to discover in the future.

The image was taken in visible light with the wide angle camera on Aug. 20, 2005, from a distance of approximately 273,000 kilometers (170,000 miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 13 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: September 27, 2005 (PIA 07595)
Image/Caption Information
  Clumps for Encke
PIA 07595

Avg Rating: 10/10

Full Size 1003x863:
PNG 322 KB