PIA07591: Sweeping Ring View

Sweeping Ring View


A grandiose gesture of gravity, Saturn's icy rings fan out across many thousands of kilometers of space. The moon Pan (26 kilometers, or 16 miles across) dutifully follows its path, like the billions and billions of particles comprising the rings. The little moon is seen at the center of this view, within the Encke gap.

The famous Cassini Division spans upper left corner of the scene. The Cassini Division is approximately 4,800-kilometers-wide (2,980 miles) and is visible in small telescopes from Earth.

The narrow, knotted F ring is thinly visible just beyond the main rings.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on July 20, 2005, at a distance of approximately 2.1 million kilometers (1.3 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale on Pan is 13 kilometers (8 miles) per pixel.

Background Info:

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.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov . For additional images visit the Cassini imaging team homepage http://ciclops.org .

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Saturn Rings Cassini Division, Encke Gap, F Ring, Pan, Saturn
System Saturn
Target Type Ring Gap, Planet, Satellite
Mission Cassini-Huygens
Instrument Host Cassini Orbiter
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)
Detector Narrow Angle Camera
Extra Keywords Grayscale, Visual
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2005-09-21
Date in Caption 2005-07-20
Image Credit NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA07591
Identifier PIA07591