Lonely Moon

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

October 17, 2016 – Saturn’s moon, Pandora, is seen here in isolation beside the planet’s kinked and constantly changing F ring. Pandora (near upper right) is 50 miles (81 kilometers) wide. The moon has an elongated, potato-like shape.

Two faint ringlets are visible within the Encke Gap, near lower left. The gap is about 202 miles (325 kilometers) wide. The much narrower Keeler Gap, which lies outside the Encke Gap, is maintained by the diminutive moon Daphnis (not seen here).

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 23 degrees above the ring plane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on August 12, 2016.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 907,000 miles (1.46 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 113 degrees. Image scale is 6 miles (9 kilometers) per pixel.

The Cassini mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (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. 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, Colorado.