Ladder-like Saturn’s Ring

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Posted June 3, 2013

Forever changing, the F ring takes on a ladder-like appearance in this recent Cassini spacecraft image. Scientists believe that interactions between the F ring and the moons Prometheus and Pandora cause the dynamic structure of the ring.

PIA14662-br500This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 32 degrees below the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Feb. 13, 2013.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 426,000 miles (686,000 kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 162 degrees. Image scale is 2 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 in Washington. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

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