CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Wave Classification

Cassini spies two types of waves in Saturn's A ring: a spiral density wave on the left of the image and a more pronounced spiral bending wave near the middle.

See PIA10501 to learn more about these two kinds of waves. The slight pixelation visible near the brightest and darkest lines is an unavoidable result of the size of the camera's sensor and of image processing.

This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from about 21 degrees above the ringplane.

The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Jan. 11, 2010. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 279,000 kilometers (173,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 18 degrees. Image scale is 1 kilometer (4,318 feet) 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: February 9, 2010 (PIA 12545)
Image/Caption Information
  Wave Classification
PIA 12545

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