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Spring 2014 Edition, Target 1: F Ring

Spring 2014 Edition, Target 1: Saturn's F Ring

The Cassini spacecraft launched in October 1997 and took seven years to travel to Saturn. On June 30, 2014 we will celebrate Cassini's 10th anniversary orbiting Saturn. Cassini uses its cameras and other instruments to learn about Saturn and its rings and moons. All images taken by the spacecraft are available on this website.

To help you get started on the research for your essay, here is some information about the three topics. Feel free to use other sources for your research as well.

Splitting the F Ring
Saturn's F ring often appears to do things other rings don't. In this Cassini spacecraft image, a strand of ring appears to separate from the core of the ring as if pulled apart by mysterious forces.
Some ring scientists believe that this feature may be due to repeated collisions between the F ring and a single small object.
Saturn's F ring
Glittering Trail in Saturn's F Ring (Narrated by Carl Murray)
One of the glittering trails caused by small objects punching through Saturn's F ring is highlighted in this movie from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. These trails show how the F ring, the outermost of Saturn's main rings, is constantly changing.
This movie covers seven hours and 23 minutes on Jan. 30, 2009.
Saturn's Weirdest Ring
Fan Spread
The Cassini spacecraft spies a 'fan' in Saturn's tenuous F ring.
This fan-like structure appears as dark lines spreading outward from the left of the bright clump of ring material near the center of the image. See Multiple F-Ring 'Fans' and 'Fan' in the F Ring to learn more about fans.
Saturn's F ring