CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Persistent Arc

Persistent Arc
PIA 07805

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  This movie shows the bright G ring arc flashing around the inner edge of Saturn's G ring, a tenuous ring outside the main ring system.

The arc is the same feature identified in images of the G ring taken in May 2005 (see PIA07718). Scientists have seen the arc a handful of times over the past year, and it always appears to be a few times brighter than the rest of the ring and very tightly confined to a narrow strip along the inside edge of the G ring.

Imaging team members believe that this feature is long-lived and may be held together by resonant interactions with the satellite Mimas of the type that corral the famed ring arcs around Neptune.

The movie consists of 15 frames acquired every half hour over a period of seven-and-a-half hours. The version in the lower panel is vertically stretched by a factor of five.

The clear filter images in this movie sequence were acquired by the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 25, 2006 at a distance of 2 million kilometers (1.2 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale on the sky at the distance of Saturn is about 24 kilometers (15 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: July 5, 2006 (PIA 07805)
Image/Caption Information