Like Spokes of Old
August 19, 2008
The Cassini spacecraft spots a couple of large, wedge-shaped spokes in Saturn's B ring.
These spokes are similar in appearance to those seen by the Voyager spacecraft (see Saturn's rings - high resolution).
Prometheus (86 kilometers, or 53 miles across) can be spotted interior to the narrow F ring at left. Pan (28 kilometers, or 17 miles across at its widest point) is barely visible within the Encke Gap, below center.
This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 26 degrees below the ringplane. Pan has been brightened in this image for better visibility. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on July 8, 2008. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 749,000 kilometers (465,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 31 degrees. Image scale is 41 kilometers (26 miles) 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 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.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute