PIA08990: D-Ring Structure

 D-Ring Structure

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Faint features in Saturn’s innermost ring, the D ring, are brought into view in this strongly contrast-enhanced Cassini image. A few background stars are visible through the sheer ring as squiggly star trails.

The inner region of the C ring is seen at upper left. The faint diagonal wedge shape on the left side of the image was caused by stray light in the camera optics.

The view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 18 degrees below the ringplane.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 12, 2007 at a distance of approximately 238,000 kilometers (148,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 1 kilometer (0.6 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.

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. PIA08990