The Subtle Jet
A single jet feature appears to leap from the F ring of Saturn in this image from the Cassini spacecraft. A closer inspection suggests that in reality there are a few smaller jets that make up this feature, suggesting a slightly more complex origin process.
These ''jets,'' like much of the dynamic and changing F ring, are believed by scientists to be caused by the ring's particles interacting with small moons orbiting nearby.
This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 45 degrees below the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 20, 2013.
The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 870,000 miles (1.4 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 77 degrees. Image scale is 5 miles (8 kilometers) 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 in Washington. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.
For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov or http://www.nasa.gov/cassini . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute