A broad and ghostly spoke drifts past under the Cassini spacecraft's gaze. The spoke-forming region of the B ring displays faint longitudinal variations in brightness, from left to right, a feature seen in other images (see The B Ring Variations).
This view looks toward the unlit side of the rings from about 35 degrees above the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Oct. 17, 2006 at a distance of approximately 2 million kilometers (1.3 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 158 degrees. Image scale is 12 kilometers (7 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.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute