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NEW IMAGE

From Cassini's collection

From Cassini's archive, new pictures and data

Saturn's graceful lanes of orbiting ice -- its iconic rings -- wind their way around the planet to pass beyond the horizon in this view from  Cassini spacecraft.  And diminutive Pandora, scarcely larger than a pixel here, can be seen orbiting just beyond the F ring in this image.

 

Also in this image is the gap between Saturn’s cloud tops and its innermost D ring through which Cassini would pass 22 times before ending its mission in spectacular fashion in Sept. 15, 2017.  Scientists scoured images of this region, particularly those taken at the high phase (spacecraft-ring-Sun) angles, looking for material that might pose a hazard to the spacecraft.

 

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 19 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken in green light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Aug. 12, 2017. Pandora was brightened by a factor of 2 to increase its visibility.

 

The view was obtained at a distance to Saturn of approximately 935,000 kilometers from Saturn. Image scale is 35 miles (56 kilometers) per pixel. The distance to Pandora was 1.1 million kilometers  for a scale of 41 miles 66 kilometers per pixel.


The Cassini mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (the European Space Agency) and the Italian Space Agency.  



ASI is one of the partners of the Cassini mission: on the basis of a cooperation agreement with NASA it has developed for Cassini the high gain antenna with the incorporation of a low-gain antenna (that ensure telecommunications with the Earth for the entire duration of the mission), the VIMS spectrometer, the radio-science subsystem (RSIS) and the radar which also uses the high-gain antenna.   



ASI has also developed for the Huygens spacecraft the ASI instrument which measured the physical properties of the atmosphere and Titan's surface.