New images of Pan, a strange moon of Saturn

Pan is one of the inner icy satellites of Saturn, discovered in 1990 thanks to the images sent to Earth from the Voyager probes. A new series of spectacular images was taken in last days by Cassini (NASA / ESA) from a distance of about 24500 kilometers.The satellite rotates around Saturn at a distance of 133 583 km, much less than the Earth-Moon distance (about 384 000 km). SMALL, BUT SHEPHERD. Pan has irregularl shape and it is quite small: its largest diameter is 35 km, and smallest less than 23 km South.

SMALL, BUT LIKE A SHEPHERD. Pan is irregularly shaped and quite small: the largest diameter is 35 km and less than 23 km South.

It orbits in the “division of Encke”, a ring of Saturn: is a space occupied only by Pan, which keeps the division amongst the icy particles that make up the rings, and is therefore defined as a “shepherd satellite “. The close-up images taken by Cassini will in the next days to provide more information on the geology of this strange iced object, which seems to be born by clash of larger satellites.

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