Structure in Saturn's narrow and complex F ring is seen here, including one of the faint strands (at the left) that Cassini has shown to curl around the planet in a tight, rotating spiral. Scientists think the spiral structure might be due to disturbance of micron-sized F-ring particles by a tiny moon (or moons).
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Jan. 19, 2006, at a distance of approximately 1.2 million kilometers (700,000 miles) from Saturn and from just above the ringplane. The image scale is 7 kilometers (4 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/home/index.cfm. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.