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This ringscape shows the outermost part of the rings’ spoke-forming region, the other edge of the B ring, and the regular bands of material within the Cassini Division. Spokes are only seen in Saturn’s B ring, interior to the Cassini Division.
Several very faint spokes are visible at left, above center. Also on the left half of the image are variations in brightness along the direction of particle motion, a commonly seen feature in the spoke-forming region.
The Cassini Division is the region to the right of the brightest ringlet in the image. This view looks toward the unlit side of the rings from about 20 degrees above the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Dec. 9, 2006 at a distance of approximately 1.7 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 10 kilometers (6 miles) per pixel.
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.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute