CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Brilliant Pan

Brilliant Pan
PIA 08317

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  This Cassini view of Pan in the Encke gap shows hints of detail on the moon's dark side, which is lit by saturnshine.

Pan (28 kilometers, 17 miles across) cruises the Encke gap (325 kilometers, 200 miles wide) with several faint ringlets.

This view looks toward the lit side of the rings from about 52 degrees below the ringplane. The sunlit portion of Pan is partly overexposed.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Oct. 27, 2006 at a distance of approximately 385,000 kilometers (239,000 miles) from Pan and at a Sun-Pan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 86 degrees. Image scale is 2 kilometers (1 mile) 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.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit and the Cassini imaging team home page,

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteNASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: November 24, 2006 (PIA 08317)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
enceladus5 (Feb 21, 2010 at 2:36 PM):
A nice shot of Pan and its home in the Encke Gap.The detail is amazing.