Saturn’s moon Pan occupies the Encke Gap. Image credit: NASA/JPL/SSI Click to enlarge
Saturn’s moon Pan occupies the Encke Gap at the center of this image, which also displays some of the A ring’s intricate wave structure. Pan is 26 kilometers (16 miles) across.
The two most prominent bright banded features seen on the left side of the image are spiral density waves, which propagate outward through Saturn’s rings. The bright crests represent areas with higher ring particle densities.
The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Aug. 1, 2005, at a distance of approximately 794,000 kilometers (493,000 miles) from Pan. The image scale is 5 kilometers (3 miles) per pixel.
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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 .
Original Source: NASA/JPL/SSI News Release