PIA02274: Saturn's B-ring

Saturn’s B-ring


Prominent dark spokes are visible in the outer half of Saturn's broad B-ring in this Voyager 2 photograph taken on Aug. 3, 1981 from a range of about 22 million kilometers (14 million miles). The features appear as filamentary markings about 12,000 kilometers (7,S00 miles) long, which rotate around the planet with the motion of particles in the rings. The nature of these features, discovered by Voyager 1, is not totally understood, but scientists believe the spokes may be caused by dust levitated above the ring plane by electric fields; Voyager 2 photography of the rings edge-on, scheduled for Aug. 25, 1981, will provide an opportunity to test that theory. Because the Sun is now illuminating the rings from a higher angle, Voyager 2's photographs reveal ring structure from a greater distance than that seen by Voyager 1 in its November 1980 encounter.

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 B Ring, Saturn, Sun
System Saturn
Target Type Ring Planet, Sun
Mission Voyager
Instrument Host Voyager 1 Voyager 2
Host Type Flyby Spacecraft
Instrument Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)
Extra Keywords Dust, Grayscale
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2000-05-23
Date in Caption 1981-08-03 1981-08-25
Image Credit NASA/JPL
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA02274
Identifier PIA02274