CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Unfocused F Ring

The F ring dissolves into a fuzzy stream of particles -- rather different from its usual appearance of a narrow, bright core flanked by dimmer ringlets. Also notable here is the bright clump of material that flanks the ring's core.

This view looks toward the unlit side of the rings from about 58 degrees above the ringplane.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Feb. 10, 2007 at a distance of approximately 1.7 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 10 kilometers (6 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: April 2, 2007 (PIA 08908)
Image/Caption Information
  Unfocused F Ring
PIA 08908

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Alliance Member Comments
DEChengst (Apr 9, 2007 at 10:29 AM):
Yeah it's pretty cool to see the changes in the F-ring. One time I did a simple animation with F-ring pictures all taken during a single fly-by. Makes them really come alive :)
Red_dragon (Apr 3, 2007 at 3:59 AM):
While these images are not so stunning as other views of Saturn, they're still very interesting to see as they show how the ring system is "live" and changes and evolves with time. I've seen estimations about the lifetime of the ring system and, certainly, we've been fortunated to live on an epoch of the history of the solar system where we can see something so majestic as Saturn's rings.