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NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive Header

Saturn Ring Plane Crossing Images 1995-1996 (PDS)


Availability: At NSSDC, Ready for Offline Distribution (or Staging if Digital)

Time span: 1994-10-01 to 1995-12-01

Ancillary data are not needed for the proper use of these data


This data set contains images of Saturn's atmosphere, rings and inner moons taken by the Wide Field/Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) aboard the Hubble Space Telescope. The images were acquired during the period October 1994 through November 1995, spanning the period of the ring plane crossings of 1995. Every WFPC2 image showing Saturn, its rings or the region of the inner satellites has been included in this data set, regardless of the original intended purpose. Note that some images were not specifically intended for ring or inner satellite observations and so are not optimally exposed for this use. Saturn was imaged continuously during the hours surrounding Earth's crossings of the ring plane on May 22, 1995 and August 10, 1995. Saturn was too close to the Sun for observations on February 11, 1996. Nearly continuous imaging also occurred during the ring 'sunset' on November 21, 1995. During these periods of ring-targeted observing, images are of extremely high quality. WFPC2 observations record the image brightness of the target in a particular filter for the specified exposure time.

The data files provided on this volume are images and tables in FITS format, as provided by the Space Telescope Archive. For each data file, a detached PDS label is provided. The PDS label contains a broad variety of additional parameters enabling the user to determine image geometry and to convert pixel values to physically meaningful quantities. 'Browse' images (at reduced resolution and with a default contrast enhancement applied) are provided in GIF format. Included in this volume are data files at a variety of levels of processing, plus ancillary geometry, calibration and trajectory files, and documentation. Supplementary data files have been archived in Zip format to reduce data volume. The first volume of this data set contains a GEOMETRY subdirectory with ephemeris files for Saturn and its satellites, plus the Sun, Earth, and Moon. These files are provided in SPICE format for a variety of platforms. Most users will prefer to focus on the fully calibrated images found in the CALIMAGE subdirectories of these volumes. The calibrated images have been passed through the Space Telescope Science Institute's processing 'pipeline' which includes: analog-to-digital conversion, bias level correction, bias correction, dark current correction, and flat field correction.

The CD's can be ordered through the CD-ROM catalog at:

The data is also available online (volumes RPX_0001 - _0005) at:

Alternate Names

  • HST-S-WFPC2-3-RPX-V1.0


  • NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive
  • Planetary Data System


  • Planetary Science: Rings
  • Planetary Science: Small Bodies


  • 90-037B-10A

Additional Information



Questions or comments about this data collection can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams.



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. Mark R. ShowalterGeneral ContactNASA Ames Research
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