Saturn’s rings and the Cassini Division. Image credit: NASA/JPL/SSI. Click to enlarge.
The dark Cassini Division, within Saturn’s rings, contains a great deal of structure, as seen in this color image. The sharp inner boundary of the division (left of center) is the outer edge of the massive B ring and is maintained by the gravitational influence of the moon Mimas.
Spectroscopic observations by Cassini indicate that the Cassini Division, similar to the C ring, contains more contaminated ice than do the B and A rings on either side.
This view is centered on a region approximately 118,500 kilometers (73,600 miles) from Saturn’s center. (Saturn is 120,500-kilometers-wide (74,900 miles) at its equator.) From left to right, the image spans approximately 11,000 kilometers (6,800 miles) across the ringplane.
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A closer view of the outer edge of the Cassini Division can be seen in The Cassini Division’s Edge.
Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this view, which approximates what the human eye might see. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 18, 2005, at a distance of approximately 1.6 million kilometers (1 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 9 kilometers (6 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. For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .
Original Source: NASA/JPL/SSI News Release