Detailing Dark Spokes
March 9, 2010
The Cassini spacecraft images dark spokes on Saturn's B ring.
Spokes are radial markings on Saturn's rings that continue to interest scientists, and they can be seen here stretching left to right across the image. Spokes appear bright when they are viewed at phase, or Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, angles higher than about 45 degrees. However, this image was taken at a phase angle of 20 degrees, which is why the spokes appear dark. See 'Tis the Season for Spokes and The Spoke Search to learn more.
This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from about 5 degrees above the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible red light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Jan. 27, 2010. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 260,000 kilometers (162,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 18 kilometers (11 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