Saturn, it's rings, and the small moon Pan

Photojournal: PIA09822

January 24, 2008

A small ring-embedded moon coasts into view from behind shadow-draped Saturn. The rings' image is distorted near Saturn by the planet's upper atmosphere, to the right of Pan (26 kilometers, or 16 miles across).

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 8 degrees above the ringplane.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Dec. 22, 2007. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.8 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Pan. Image scale is 11 kilometers (7 miles) per pixel on Pan.

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.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

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