Views from the Solar System (209)


Saturn’s C and B Rings From the Inside Out

NASA – On July 1, 2004, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft arrived at Saturn, marking the end of the spacecraft’s nearly seven-year journey through the solar system as well as the beginning of its tour of Saturn, its rings, moons and magnetosphere.

This image, taken on June 30, 2004 during Cassini’s orbital insertion at Saturn, shows, from left to right, the outer portion of the C ring and inner portion of the B ring. The B ring begins a little more than halfway across the image. The general pattern is from “dirty” particles indicated by red to cleaner ice particles shown in turquoise in the outer parts of the rings.

The ring system begins from the inside out with the D, C, B and A rings followed by the F, G and E rings.

This image was taken with the Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph instrument, which is capable of resolving the rings to show features up to 97 kilometers (60 miles) across, roughly 100 times the resolution of ultraviolet data obtained by the Voyager 2 spacecraft.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Colorado

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