Bright spokes grace Saturn's B ring in this image taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
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Ghostly Spokes

Bright spokes grace Saturn's B ring in this Cassini image.

To learn more about the ghostly radial markings called spokes, see PIA11144 and PIA08288. Spokes appear bright when they are viewed at phase, or Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, angles higher than about 45 degrees. The phase angle in this image is 61 degrees.

Prometheus (86 kilometers, or 53 miles across) orbits between the A ring and the thin F ring. Epimetheus (113 kilometers, or 70 miles across) orbits beyond the F ring in the top left of the image. The bright dot in the top right is a star.

Scale in the original image was 71 kilometers (44 miles) per pixel. The image has been magnified by a factor of 1.5 and contrast-enhanced to aidvisibility.

This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from about 12 degrees above the ringplane.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Sept. 22, 2009. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.2 million kilometers (746,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 61 degrees.

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 mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.

Image details

ID#:
PIA11639

Date added:
2009-12-07

Target:
S Rings

Mission:
Cassini-Huygens

Spacecraft:
Cassini Orbiter

Instruments:
Imaging Science Subsystem - Wide Angle

Size:
953 x 710 pixels (width x height)

Rating:



Views:
2,303

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA11639.tif (0.68 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA11639.jpg (0.05 MB)

Image credit:
NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute