October 11, 2006
A vertical corrugation in Saturn's almost transparent D ring can give rise to brightness variations.
In this graphic representation, the diagonal lines (or arrows) correspond to lines of sight through the corrugated ring. The grayscale plot along the bottom shows the ring's total optical depth (a measure of opacity) and brightness as seen by the observer.
See A Twisted Tale for more details about the vertically corrugated structure in Saturn's D ring.
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