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Embedded in Saturn’s A ring is saucer-shaped Pan. The moon is seen here with two of the diffuse ringlets with which it shares the Encke Gap.
At the top of the scene, the inner edge of the broad gap displays both edge waves and wakes caused by Pan (26 kilometers, or 16 miles across).
The thin strands of the F ring are seen at lower right.
This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 11 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Feb. 12, 2008. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.6 million kilometers (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