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The rich dynamics of Saturn’s F ring are on display in this image taken by the Cassini spacecraft. Most of the features seen here are believed to be due to the ring’s interactions with its shepherd moons or with small moonlets embedded within the ring itself.
In this image, a bright clump of material is also caught just outside the main part of the ring (on the right side of the image below the middle). The brightness of the clump in this observation geometry suggests it’s made of dusty material. At the left edge of the image, the A ring is also visible.
This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 19 degrees below the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 28, 2012.
The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 474,000 miles (763,000 kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 146 degrees. Image scale is 3 miles (4 kilometers) 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-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Image Addition Date: 2012-11-19