Google Play icon

Space Image: Faint D Ring

Posted April 28, 2015

Not all of Saturn’s rings are created equal: here the C and D rings appear side-by-side, but the C ring, which occupies the bottom half of this image, clearly outshines its neighbor.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

The D ring appears fainter than the C ring because it is comprised of less material. However, even rings as thin as the D ring can pose hazards to spacecraft. Given the high speeds at which Cassini travels, impacts with particles just fractions of a millimeter in size have the potential to damage key spacecraft components and instruments. Nonetheless, near the end of Cassini’s mission, navigators plan to thread the spacecraft’s orbit through the narrow region between the D ring and the top of Saturn’s atmosphere.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 12 degrees below the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Feb. 11, 2015.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 372,000 miles (599,000 kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 133 degrees. Image scale is 2.2 miles (3.6 kilometers) per pixel.

Source: NASA

Featured news from related categories:

Technology Org App
Google Play icon
85,500 science & technology articles

Most Popular Articles

  1. New treatment may reverse celiac disease (October 22, 2019)
  2. The World's Energy Storage Powerhouse (November 1, 2019)
  3. "Helical Engine" Proposed by NASA Engineer could Reach 99% the Speed of Light. But could it, really? (October 17, 2019)
  4. Plastic waste may be headed for the microwave (October 18, 2019)
  5. Universe is a Sphere and Not Flat After All According to a New Research (November 7, 2019)

Follow us

Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Tumblr   RSS   Newsletter via Email