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Pandora

Pandora

Moons - Pandora Return to Moons page Click here to return to Saturn's Moons page

Pandora's Color Close-up
Pandora Multimedia GalleryLink to 'Pandora Multimedia Gallery'
Pandora, a potato-shaped moon, is coated in a fine (dust-sized) icy material. Even the craters on Pandora are coated in debris, a stark contrast to the crisply-defined craters of other moons, such as Hyperion. Curious grooves and ridges also appear to cross the surface of the small moon.

Pandora is partly interesting because, along with its companion moon Prometheus, it helps shepherd the particles of Saturn's F ring into a distinct ring.

How Pandora Got Its Name

Moons of Saturn were originally named for Greco-Roman Titans and descendants of the Titans. But as many new moons were discovered scientists began selecting names from more mythologies, including Gallic, Inuit and Norse stories.

In mythology, Pandora (pan-DOR-uh) was a work of art who was transformed into a human by the gods. Her curiosity was said to have loosed all manner of ills upon the world when she let evil creatures out of a locked box; however, she is also responsible for hope entering the world ("hope" had been the last "creature" in the box).

Flyby Dates
  • No targeted flyby.

    Closest approach: Dec. 18, 2016 -- 15,918 kilometers (9,891 miles)
Fast Facts
  • Discovered in 1980 by the Voyager team
  • Distance from Saturn: 141,700 km (88,048 miles)
  • Period of Orbit around Saturn: 15.1 hours
  • Diameter: 110 x 88 x 62 km (68 x 55 x 39 miles)
  • Mass: 1.5 x 1017 kg (3.3 1017 lbs)
Science Goals
  • Determine general characteristics and geological history of Pandora
  • Define the different physical processes that created the surface of Pandora
  • Investigate composition and distribution of surface materials on Pandora -- particularly dark, organic-rich materials and condensed ices with a low melting point
  • Determine the bulk composition and internal structure of Pandora
  • Investigate interaction of Pandora with Saturn's magnetosphere and ring system
Saturn's Moons (sorted alphabetically)
Aegaeon
Aegir
Albiorix
Anthe
Atlas
Bebhionn
Bergelmir
Bestla
Calypso
Daphnis
Dione
Enceladus
Epimetheus
Erriapus
Farbauti
Fenrir
Fornjot
Greip
Hati
Helene
Hyperion
Hyrrokkin
Iapetus
Ijiraq
Janus
Jarnsaxa
Kari
Kiviuq
Loge
Methone
Mimas
Mundilfari
Narvi
Paaliaq
Pallene
Pan
Pandora
Phoebe
Polydeuces
Prometheus
Rhea
Siarnaq
Skadi
Skoll
Surtur
Suttung
Tarqeq
Tarvos
Telesto
Tethys
Thrym
Titan
Ymir

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