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Ghostly Spokes



Category: Rings

Bright spokes grace Saturn's B ring

Ghostly Spokes
December 7, 2009
Full-Res: PIA11639

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

To learn more about the ghostly radial markings called spokes, see 'Tis the Season for Spokes and The Spoke Search. 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 aid visibility.

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 .

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute




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