CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Taking the Plunge

Pan prepares to be engulfed by the darkness of Saturn's shadow, visible here as it stretches across the rings.

When Cassini took a follow-up image of this same location about 50 seconds later, Pan (28 kilometers, 17 miles across) had vanished into darkness.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 44 degrees above the ringplane.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on March 14, 2007 at a distance of approximately 1.9 million kilometers (1.2 million miles) from Pan. Image scale is 11 kilometers (7 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.

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

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: April 17, 2007 (PIA 08920)
Image/Caption Information
  Taking the Plunge
PIA 08920

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