NASA image: God of the Gap

Apr 21, 2014
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

(Phys.org) —Saturn's moon Pan, named for the Greek god of shepherds, rules over quite a different domain: the Encke gap in Saturn's rings.

Pan (17 miles, or 28 kilometers across) keeps the Encke gap open through its on the ring particles nearby.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 48 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Dec. 25, 2013.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.4 million miles (2.3 million kilometers) from Pan and at a Sun-Pan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 87 degrees. Image scale is 9 miles (14 kilometers) 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.

Explore further: Image: Saturn's rings and hexagonal polar storm

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Image: Saturn's rings and hexagonal polar storm

Feb 04, 2014

Just as Saturn's famous hexagonal shaped jet stream encircles the planet's north pole, the rings encircle the planet, as seen from Cassini's position high above. Around and around everything goes!

Image: Two moons passing in the night

Aug 01, 2013

(Phys.org) —The Saturn moons Mimas and Pandora remind us of how different they are when they appear together, as in this image taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. Pandora's small size means that it lacks ...

Space Image: Welcome disruption

Jan 16, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- The line of Saturn's rings disrupts the Cassini spacecraft's view of the moons Tethys and Titan.

Cassini presents Saturn moon quintet

Sep 19, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- With the artistry of a magazine cover shoot, NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured this portrait of five of Saturn's moons poised along the planet's rings.

Space image: Dione flyby

Jan 24, 2012

Saturn's moon Mimas peeks out from behind the night side of the larger moon Dione in this Cassini image captured during the spacecraft's Dec. 12, 2011, flyby of Dione.

Space Image: Beside a giant

Feb 29, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- Saturn's largest moon, Titan, looks small here, pictured to the right of the gas giant in this Cassini spacecraft view.

Recommended for you

SDO captures images of two mid-level flares

4 hours ago

The sun emitted a mid-level flare on Dec. 18, 2014, at 4:58 p.m. EST. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts ...

Why is Venus so horrible?

11 hours ago

Venus sucks. Seriously, it's the worst. The global temperature is as hot as an oven, the atmospheric pressure is 90 times Earth, and it rains sulfuric acid. Every part of the surface of Venus would kill you ...

Image: Christmas wrapping the Sentinel-3A antenna

14 hours ago

The moment a team of technicians, gowned like hospital surgeons, wraps the Sentinel-3A radar altimeter in multilayer insulation to protect it from the temperature extremes found in Earth orbit.

Video: Flying over Becquerel

14 hours ago

This latest release from the camera on ESA's Mars Express is a simulated flight over the Becquerel crater, showing large-scale deposits of sedimentary material.

Spinning up a dust devil on Mars

15 hours ago

Spinning up a dust devil in the thin air of Mars requires a stronger updraft than is needed to create a similar vortex on Earth, according to research at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.