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The F ring shepherd Pandora is captured here along with other well-known examples of how Saturn’s moons shape the rings. From the narrow F ring, to the gaps in the A ring, to the Cassini Division, Saturn’s rings are a masterpiece of gravitational sculpting by the moons.
Pandora (50 miles, or 81 kilometers across), along with its fellow shepherd Prometheus (53 miles, or 86 kilometers across), helps confine the F ring and keep it from spreading.
This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 31 degrees below the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on March 8, 2014.
The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 533,000 miles (858,000 kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 63 degrees. Image scale is 32 miles (51 kilometers) per pixel.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. 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-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Image Addition Date: 2014-08-11