The striated appearance of the F ring is immediately apparent in the region of the ring that trails behind the moon Prometheus. The F ring is characterized here by dark gores that stretch inward toward the planet and forward in the direction of motion.
This image has been expanded in the horizontal direction by a factor of five in order to make radial variations more prominent. The curvature of the rings is also exaggerated by the horizontal stretch.
The exterior flanking ringlets (to the right of the bright ring core) are not disturbed by Prometheus to the great degree seen in the inner ringlets.
This view looks toward the unlit side of the rings from about 31 degrees above the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Nov. 25, 2006 at a distance of approximately 1.7 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 162 degrees. Scale in the original image is 10 kilometers (6 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.