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Faint ringlets abound in this view of Saturn’s F and outer A rings. The F ring presents its familiar irregularities near the ring’s ansa, or outermost edge. At lower right can be seen faint ringlets within the Encke Gap.
The oblong moon Pandora (84 kilometers, or 52 miles across) is overexposed in this image, due to the long exposure time necessary to see fine detail within the rings.
This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 1 degree above the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on March 4, 2008. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.3 million kilometers (784,000 miles) from Pandora and at a Sun-Pandora-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 10 degrees. Image scale is 8 kilometers (5 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