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The Encke Gap in Saturn’s A ring is maintained by the presence of the moon Pan, which shares the gap with several diffuse ringlets. The scalloped appearance in the inner (left side) edge of the gap results from perturbations caused by Pan as it sweeps through the 325-kilometer (200-mile) wide lane.
This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 38 degrees below the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 10, 2008. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 264,000 kilometers (164,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) 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