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Saturn’s moon Prometheus chases Pandora in this Cassini view, but the outcome of their race has already been decided by gravity. Prometheus orbits closer to Saturn and thus moves faster than does Pandora.
Prometheus is 102 kilometers (63 miles) across. Pandora is 84 kilometers (52 miles) across.
This view is from a third of a degree beneath the ringplane. Familiar ring features that are visible from higher angles above the rings are foreshortened here. The planet’s dark shadow stretches across the ringplane at center.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Sept. 8, 2005, at a distance of approximately 1.8 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 10 kilometers (6 miles) per pixel on Prometheus and Pandora.
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