Pan and Janus
September 23, 2008
Two of Saturn's moons coast along the outer edge of the main ring system. The orbits of seven small moons cluster just outside the F ring -- between the orbits of Pan and the co-orbital moons Janus and Epimetheus.
Pan (28 kilometers, or 17 miles across at its widest point) appears as a bright dot within the Encke Gap, right of center. Janus (179 kilometers, 111 miles across at its widest point) lies outside the A and F rings, below center.
This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 2 degrees below the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Aug. 22, 2008. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.3 million kilometers (808,000 miles) from Janus. Image scale is 8 kilometers (5 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