CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Bright in the Night

Bright in the Night
PIA 08305

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  The bright ringlets seen here are populated with microscopic icy particles and are among the brightest features in the rings at high phase angles.

The twisted core of the F ring, at left, is flanked by three fainter ringlets which are, in fact, part of a separate continuous structure that spirals around the planet. Right of center, in the Encke Gap, are three tortured-looking ringlets.

This view looks toward the unlit side of the rings from about 12 degrees above the ringplane.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Oct. 7, 2006 at a distance of approximately 1.9 million kilometers (1.2 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 163 degrees. Image scale is about 11 kilometers (7 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: November 8, 2006 (PIA 08305)
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