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Five wide bands near the center of this image form the structure of the Cassini Division—an expanse between Saturn’s B and A rings that appears dark or black in many other images.
The 4,800-kilometer wide (2,980-mile wide) division spans the right side of the image along with a small part of the B ring. The inner part of the A ring appears on the left.
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 narrow-angle camera on Feb. 13, 2009. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 819,000 kilometers (509,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 154 degrees. Image scale is 5 kilometers (3 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