Saturn's rings, 20 July 2005.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 32cm

Saturn's rings, 20 July 2005.

© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society


A grandiose gesture of gravity, Saturn's icy rings fan out across many thousands of kilometres of space. The moon Pan (26 kilometres, or 16 miles across) dutifully follows its path, like the billions and billions of particles comprising the rings. The little moon is seen within the Encke gap. The famous Cassini Division spans upper left corner of the scene. The Cassini Division is approximately 4,800 kilometres wide (2,980 miles) and is visible in small telescopes from Earth. The narrow, knotted F ring is thinly visible just beyond the main rings. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera, at a distance of approximately 2.1 million kilometres (1.3 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale on Pan is 13 kilometres (8 miles) per pixel.

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