PIA08857: Pan's Progress

Pan’s Progress


Pan is seen in this color view as it sweeps through the Encke Gap with its attendant ringlets. As the lemon-shaped little moon orbits Saturn, it always keeps its long axis pointed along a line toward the planet. From this vantage point, the dark side of the moon is visible.

This view looks toward Pan (26 kilometers, or 16 miles across) within the Encke Gap (325 kilometers, or 200 miles wide), on the unlit side of the rings, and from an inclination of about 33 degrees above the ringplane.

Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Dec. 16, 2006 at a distance of approximately 779,000 kilometers (484,000 miles) from Pan and at a Sun-Pan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 83 degrees. Image scale is 5 kilometers (3 miles) per pixel.

Background Info:

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/home/index.cfm . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Pan Encke Gap, Saturn, Saturn Rings, Sun
System Saturn
Target Type Satellite Gap, Planet, Ring, Sun
Mission Cassini-Huygens
Instrument Host Cassini Orbiter
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)
Detector Narrow Angle Camera
Extra Keywords Color
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2007-01-18
Date in Caption 2006-12-16
Image Credit NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA08857
Identifier PIA08857