CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
The Subtle Jet

A single jet feature appears to leap from the F ring of Saturn in this image from Cassini. A closer inspection suggests that in reality there are a few smaller jets that make up this feature, suggesting a slightly more complex origin process.

These "jets", like much of the dynamic and changing F ring, are believed by scientists to be caused by the ring's particles interacting with small moons orbiting nearby.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 45 degrees below the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 20, 2013.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 870,000 miles (1.4 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 77 degrees. Image scale is 5 miles (8 kilometers) per pixel.

The Cassini Solstice 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 Solstice Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Released: November 11, 2013 (PIA 17136)
Image/Caption Information
  The Subtle Jet
PIA 17136

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Alliance Member Comments
jsc248 (Nov 14, 2013 at 7:20 AM):
Beautiful detail in the ring structure. Superb image!!