PIA10525: Spokes in the Morning

 Spokes in the Morning

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Broad, dark spokes in the B ring are clearly seen in this image of Saturn’s rings.

The spokes are finally becoming quite common, as they were during the Voyager flybys. These observations and others like it seem to support the idea that the spokes become most prominent near equinox.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Oct. 19, 2008 at a distance of approximately 1.011 million kilometers (628,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 29 degrees. Image scale is 57 kilometers (35 miles) per pixel.

Also visible in this image is the moon Janus off beyond the rings.

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. PIA10525