Subtle Shades


The intricate structure of Saturn’s rings is seen here in this raw image from Cassini, taken yesterday.

This (I believe) shows the dark material of the Cassini Division (bottom) below the brighter bands of the A ring (middle to top).

I could be mistaken though, and this is instead the inner section of the B ring. Hard to tell and raw images aren’t specifically labeled, but based on the arc angles of the rings I think it’s the former.

Saturn’s rings are composed of tiny particles of rock and ice held in an expansive orbit around the giant planet. Hundreds of thousands of miles across, they are only about 30 feet thick. Gravitational attractions between their particles and the motions of nearby moons create waves, clumps, spokes and other structures within them.