CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Spokes in the Morning

Broad, dark spokes in the B ring are clearly seen in the image of Saturn's rings. The spokes are finally becoming quite common, as they were during the Voyager flybys. These observations and others like it seem to support the idea that the spokes become most prominent near equinox. Also visible in this image is the moon Janus off beyond the rings.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Oct. 19, 2008 at a distance of approximately 1.011 million kilometers (628,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 29 degrees. Image scale is 57 kilometers (35 miles) per pixel.

The Cassini Equinox Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. 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 Equinox Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: December 2, 2008 (PIA 10525)
Image/Caption Information
  Spokes in the Morning
PIA 10525

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