a 3,000-mile (4,800-km) wide dark region that separates the middle and outermost rings of the planet Saturn.
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Origin of Cassini division
First recorded in 1870–75; named after Italian astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini (1625–1712), who discovered it in 1675
Words nearby Cassini division
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
Scientific definitions for Cassini division
[ kə-sē′nē ]
The large gap between Saturn's two most prominent rings (the outer A ring and middle B ring), appearing as a dark void but actually containing small amounts of opaque material. It is formed as a result of particles being removed from the area by the gravitational pull of Mimas, one of the smaller of Saturn's moons. The division is named after the Italian astronomer, Giovanni D. Cassini (1625-1712), who discovered it in 1675.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.