PIA08834: World of Contrast

World of Contrast


The contrast is sharp between the outer portion of the A ring edge and the ring's main body. One explanation for this is that the outer A ring region contains smaller particles (around 1 centimeter or 0.4 inches in radius) than the main rings, allowing more opportunities for light scattering before it scatters toward the camera.

Ringlets in the Encke Gap and flanking the bright F ring core are clearly visible here.

This view looks toward the lit side of the rings from about 4 degrees below the ringplane.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 752 nanometers on Nov. 7, 2006. Cassini was then at a distance of approximately 1.1 million kilometers (700,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 140 degrees. Image scale on the NASA/JPL/Space Science Institutesky at the distance of Saturn is 6 kilometers (4 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 A Ring, Encke Gap, Saturn
System Saturn
Target Type Ring Gap, Planet
Mission Cassini-Huygens
Instrument Host Cassini Orbiter
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)
Detector Narrow Angle Camera
Extra Keywords Grayscale, Infrared, Visual, Wave
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2006-12-12
Date in Caption 2006-11-07
Image Credit NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA08834
Identifier PIA08834