PIA08992: Surging Across the Rings

 Surging Across the Rings

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A surge in brightness appears on the rings directly opposite the Sun from the Cassini spacecraft. This “opposition surge” travels across the rings as the spacecraft watches (see PIA08267).

See PIA08247 for a detailed explanation of the opposition effect.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 9 degrees below the ringplane.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on June 12, 2007 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 853 nanometers. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 524,374 kilometers (325,830 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 31 kilometers (19 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. PIA08992