Charley Kohlhase’s Solar System

The images that awed Voyager’s mission designer

(Courtesy Charley Kohlhase)

Saturn's B Ring


“In this Voyager 2 image taken on August 22, 1981 from 1.5 million miles, we were all dazzled by the dark spokes which formed rapidly in the B ring of Saturn, then dissipated over several rotations of the ring particles orbiting faster near Saturn and slower farther away. We had already been awed by the thousands of ringlets and gaplets produced by the gravitational effects of the moons outside of the rings, but this new phenomenon ‘took the cake.’ Some suggested that impacts with ring bergs knocked loose charged particles, which were then magnetically propelled out along radial lines, only to settle down and dissipate with their orbital speed differences across the great expanse of the B ring.”


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