PIA08267: Surging Onward

Surging Onward


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Surging Onward

A brilliant spot of sunlight, the opposition effect, travels outward across the rings as the Cassini spacecraft orbits Saturn. This surge in ring brightness is created around the point directly opposite the Sun from the spacecraft.

This movie sequence of 29 images shows the opposition surge moving from the outer B ring, across the sparsely populated Cassini Division and onto the A ring. From Cassini's perspective, the rings are seen projected onto the planet where the ring shadows can be seen through the rings. This perspective, including rings and ring shadows, changes continuously during the sequence, giving the false impression that the ring features themselves are changing.

This image sequence was taken over 15 minutes on Aug. 16, 2006. The images were acquired in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera at a distance of approximately 253,000 kilometers (157,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 15 kilometers (9 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/home/index.cfm . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Saturn Rings B Ring, Cassini Division, Saturn
System Saturn
Target Type Ring Gap, Planet
Mission Cassini-Huygens
Instrument Host Cassini Orbiter
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)
Detector Wide Angle Camera
Extra Keywords Grayscale, Movie, Shadow, Visual
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2006-09-14
Date in Caption 2006-08-16
Image Credit NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA08267
Identifier PIA08267