CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Pan and Waves
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Shepherd moon, Pan, orbits Saturn in the Encke gap while the A ring surrounding the gap displays wave features created by interactions between the ring particles and Saturnian moons.

Pan (17 miles, 28 kilometers across) maintains the Encke gap through gravitational interactions with ring particles. The wave features in the A ring are generated through interactions between ring particles and moons such as Pan.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 34 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 11, 2013.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 240,000 miles (386,000 kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 111 degrees. Image scale is 1 mile (2 kilometers) per pixel.

The Cassini Solstice 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.

For more information about the Cassini Solstice Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Released: July 8, 2013 (PIA 14668)
Image/Caption Information
  Pan and Waves
PIA 14668

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