PIA01381: Thin Ringlet of Saturn's A-ring

Thin Ringlet of Saturn’s A-ring


Voyager 2 discovered a new "kinky" ringlet inside the Encke Gap in Saturn's A-ring. These pictures show the thin ringlet at two different positions, photographed Aug. 25 from a distance of about 700,000 kilometers (435,000 miles) near the time the spacecraft crossed the planet's ring plane. Resolution is about 15 km. (9 mi.) in both frames. Here, the ringlet appears in two different positions: about midway in the gap in the right-hand image and near the inner edge of the gap at left. Scientists do not know if the kinky ring is eccentric, or off-center, or if perhaps there are several inner rings, with different components visible at different longitudes. The kinks, clearly visible on the right, appear to be more closely spaced than those seen in Saturn's outer F-ring. (The fine white dots or "snow" in these pictures are artifacts of processing and are not individual moonlets).

Background Info:

The Voyager Project is managed for NASA by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Saturn Rings A Ring, Encke Gap, F Ring, Saturn
System Saturn
Target Type Ring Gap, Planet
Mission Voyager
Instrument Host Voyager 2
Host Type Flyby Spacecraft
Instrument Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)
Extra Keywords Grayscale, Moonlet
Acquisition Date
Release Date 1998-11-17
Date in Caption
Image Credit NASA/JPL
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA01381
Identifier PIA01381