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Pan sits nestled in its gap, like a beacon on the far side of Saturn’s rings. The especially bright region seen here is the Cassini Division.
This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about a degree above the ringplane. Pan is 26 kilometers (16 miles) across.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on March 4, 2008. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.3 million kilometers (817,000 miles) from Pan and at a Sun-Pan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 11 degrees. Image scale is 8 kilometers (5 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