Pan in Action
August 4, 2010
Saturn's small, ring-embedded moon Pan, on the extreme right of this Cassini spacecraft image, can be seen interacting with the ringlets that share the Encke Gap of the A ring with this moon.
Pan is 28 kilometers, or 17 miles, across. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from about 11 degrees above the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 2, 2010. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 875,000 kilometers (544,000 miles) from Saturn and at a sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 130 degrees. Image scale is 5 kilometers (3 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