PIA08861: The Bends

 The Bends

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Bright undulations disturb a faint ringlet drifting through the center of the Encke Gap. This ring structure shares the orbit of the moon Pan.

A second, fainter ringlet is visible below the central ringlet.

This view looks toward the lit side of the rings from about 44 degrees below the ringplane.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Dec. 14, 2006 at a distance of approximately 462,000 kilometers (287,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 2 kilometers (2 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.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit saturn.jpl.nasa.gov. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at ciclops.org.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Source: NASA’s Planetary Photojournal: Image No. PIA08861