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The outer edge of Saturn’s A ring displays intriguing structure in this Cassini spacecraft view.
The scrambled pattern in the outer edge is not unlike the pattern Cassini recently imaged in the outer B-ring edge (see PIA09855).
As with the B-ring edge, the pattern could represent clumping caused by periodic compression of this ring region.
This scene looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 42 degrees below the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on March 23, 2008. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 192,000 kilometers (119,000 miles) from the rings. Image scale is 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) 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