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Saturn's moon Pandora casts its shadow upon the F ring. Moon shadows upon the rings will become an increasingly common sight for Cassini as equinox approaches and the Sun moves northward through the ringplane.
This observation was optimized to show faint details in the F ring, leaving Pandora (81 kilometers, 50 miles across) overexposed. The view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 37 degrees above the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Aug. 17, 2008. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 864,000 kilometers (537,000 miles) from Pandora and at a Sun-Pandora-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 48 degrees. Image scale is 5 kilometers (3 miles) per pixel.
The Cassini Equinox Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. 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 was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. 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.