February 4, 2009
Structure in the tenuous F ring can be seen in this image of the ring's bright core.
Much of the structure in the F ring is created by its two shepherding moons: Prometheus (86 kilometers, or 53 miles across) and Pandora (81 kilometers, or 50 miles across).
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Dec. 8, 2008. The view, which looks down from about 70 degrees above the ringplane toward the unilluminated side of the rings, was acquired at a distance of approximately 613,000 kilometers (381,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 77 degrees. Image scale is 3 kilometers (2 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