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The Cassini spacecraft looks toward the unilluminated side of Saturn’s rings to spy on the moon Pan as it cruises through the Encke Gap.
This view looks toward the rings from about 13 degrees above the ringplane. At the top of the image lie the dark, outer B ring and the Cassini Division. The narrow F ring is also seen here as a bright thread beyond the A ring.
Pan is 26 kilometers (16 miles) across.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 29, 2007 at a distance of approximately 1.7 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Pan. Image scale is 10 kilometers (6 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