Down Under on Pan
July 27, 2006
Hiding within the Encke gap is the small moon Pan, partly in shadow and party cut off by the outer A ring in this view. Similar to Atlas, Pan appears to have a slight ridge around its middle; and like Atlas, Pan's orbit also coincides with a faint ringlet.
(See Cruising with Pan for a movie featuring Pan).
Pan is 26 kilometers (16 miles) across.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 30, 2006 at a distance of approximately 269,000 kilometers (167,000 miles) from Pan. Image scale is 2 kilometers (5,259 feet) per pixel.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute