Contains:  Solar system body or event

Image of the day 12/19/2022

Saturn with Ring Spokes on September 21st, 2022, Ethan Chappel

Saturn with Ring Spokes on September 21st, 2022

Acquisition type: Lucky imaging



Acquisition details



Excellent seeing while imaging Saturn on September 21st, 2022.

Visible on the B-ring left of the planet is a small dark spot. I initially assumed it was a post-processing artifact, but upon checking the individual images it was clear this was a real feature moving through the ring. These dark spots have been termed "spokes" and are seasonal phenomenon of the rings seen in 8-year periods centered on Saturnian equinoxes. The next one coming up in 2025 means we are just beginning to see spokes appear on the B-ring. We should continue to see more over the next few years as our view of the rings continue to close.

Animation of Spokes