Cassini obtains clearest-ever view of Saturn’s pierogi-shaped moon Pan.
Cassini flew to within 15,000 miles of Saturn’s tiny moon Pan March 7 and obtained the clearest pictures yet taken of the satellite.
Measuring only 21 miles long by 12 miles wide, Pan orbits in the Encke Gap of Saturn’s A-ring. Pan’s existence was theorized in the late 1980s by astronomers reanalyzing data from the 1981 Voyager 2 flyby of Saturn and officially confirmed in 1990. Up until this year, only lower-resolution images of Pan from further away were obtained.
Cassini is scheduled to end its mission September 15 when it will plunge into the planet’s atmosphere.