The shepherd moon Pan orbits Saturn in the Encke gap while the A ring surrounding the gap displays wave features created by interactions between the ring particles and Saturnian moons in this image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
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Pan and Waves

The shepherd moon Pan orbits Saturn in the Encke gap while the A ring surrounding the gap displays wave features created by interactions between the ring particles and Saturnian moons.

Pan (17 miles, or 28 kilometers across) maintains the Encke gap through gravitational interactions with ring particles. The wave features in the A ring are generated through interactions between ring particles and moons such as Pan.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 34 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 11, 2013.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 240,000 miles (386,000 kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 111 degrees. Image scale is 1 mile (2 kilometers) 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.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://www.nasa.gov/cassini and http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov.

Image details

ID#:
PIA14668

Date added:
2013-07-08

Target:
Pan

Mission:
Cassini-Huygens

Spacecraft:
Cassini Orbiter

Instruments:
Imaging Science Subsystem - Narrow Angle

Size:
1016 x 1016 pixels (width x height)

Rating:



Views:
768

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA14668.tif (1.03 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA14668.jpg (0.09 MB)

Image credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute