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Saturn’s moon Pandora is almost overwhelmed by the brightness of the F ring in this view. The F ring’s bright core displays kinks and is flanked by fainter ringlets. Imaging scientists recently determined these fainter ringlets to be a single spiral ring that winds around the planet. Pandora is 84 kilometers (52 miles) across.
Pandora is faintly lit by “Saturnshine,” or reflected light from the planet, and few features can be seen here. This image was acquired by Cassini exactly three hours after the spacecraft took the image seen in PIA07601, which showed Prometheus interior to the F ring.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Aug. 21, 2005, at a distance of approximately 583,000 kilometers (362,000 miles) from Saturn and at a high Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 136 degrees. Resolution in the original image was 3 kilometers (2 miles) 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.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute