From just outside the faint edge of the F ring, Pandora (81 kilometers, 50 miles across) keeps watch over her fine grained flock. The outer flanks of the F ring region are populated by ice particles approaching the size of the particles comprising smoke. As a shepherd moon, Pandora helps her cohort Prometheus confine and shape the main F ring.
Prometheus is 86 kilometers (53 miles) wide and orbits interior to the F ring.
The small knot seen attached to the core is one of several that Cassini scientists are eyeing as they attempt to distinguish embedded moons from transient clumps of material (see PIA07716).
The image was taken with the narrow angle camera on Aug. 2, 2005 using a filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 930 nanometers from a distance of approximately 610,000 kilometers (379,000 miles) from Pandora and at a Sun-Pandora-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 146 degrees. Image scale is 4 kilometers (2 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 Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The imaging team consists of scientists from the US, England, France, and Germany. The imaging operations center and team lead (Dr. C. Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.