CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
C-Ring Variations

C-Ring Variations
PIA 08988

Avg Rating: 6.88/10

Full Size 1011x709:
PNG 314 KB
  This bright, isolated plateau in the middle of the C ring displays interesting internal variations in brightness. The plateau is not high in terms of elevation, but rather in terms of its particle density (seen here as brightness), which is several times higher than the surrounding ring structure.

Ring scientists are working to understand what produces the sharp boundaries of the plateau features, as well as the nature of the internal variations in brightness.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 18 degrees below the ringplane.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 12, 2007 at a distance of approximately 230,000 kilometers (143,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 1 kilometer (3,353 feet) 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 20, 2007 (PIA 08988)
Image/Caption Information