PIA18278: Ring King


Ring King

Caption:

Saturn reigns supreme, encircled by its retinue of rings.

Although all four giant planets have ring systems, Saturn's is by far the most massive and impressive. Scientists are trying to understand why by studying how the rings have formed and how they have evolved over time.

Also seen in this image is Saturn's famous north polar vortex and hexagon.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 37 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on May 4, 2014 using a spectral filter which preferentially admits wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 2 million miles (3 million kilometers) from Saturn. Image scale is 110 miles (180 kilometers) per pixel.

Background Info:

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. 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 and http://www.nasa.gov/cassini . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Saturn Rings Saturn, Sun
System Saturn
Target Type Ring Planet, Sun
Mission Cassini-Huygens
Instrument Host Cassini Orbiter
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)
Detector Wide Angle Camera
Extra Keywords Grayscale, Infrared, Wave
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2014-08-18
Date in Caption 2014-05-04
Image Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA18278
Identifier PIA18278