Spotting the Shepherd
January 3, 2008
Across the darkened expanse of Saturn's rings, the Cassini spacecraft spies one of the F-ring shepherd moons.
Pandora (84 kilometers, or 52 miles across) orbits Saturn just beyond the outer edges of the F ring. Close to the planet, the image of the rings is slightly distorted by Saturn's upper atmosphere.
This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 8 degrees above the ringplane. At lower right, ring shadows are cast upon the planet.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Nov. 29, 2007. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 2 million kilometers (1.3 million miles) from Pandora. Image scale is 12 kilometers (8 miles) 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