Saturn’s Ring System

PIA02269: Saturn's Ring System

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Eight hours after its closest approach to Saturn on Nov. 12, 1980, Voyager 1 took this picture of the planet’s ring system. Major features of the rings are clearly seen: from the top of the image down is the bright F Ring, the A Ring, the Cassini Division, the broad B Ring, and the C Ring (dark gray area). The spacecraft took this picture at a distance of 720,000 kilometers (446,000 miles) from an angle approximately 30 degrees above the ring plane. The unique lighting in this view brings out the many hundreds of bright and dark ringlets that make up this very thin, phonograph record-like ring system. The dark spokelike features seen in images taken during approach to Saturn now appear as bright streaks, indicating that they possess a strong forward- scattering property. The Voyager Project is managed for NASA by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Image Note: PICNO 0767S1+000

Source: NASA’s Planetary Photojournal: Image No. PIA02269