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Saturday, March 18, 2017

UFO or Space Perogi?

Saturn's Moon Pan from Cassini 
From NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day

Why does Saturn's moon Pan look so odd? 

Images taken last week from the robotic Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn have resolved the moon in unprecedented detail.

The surprising images reveal a moon that looks something like a walnut with a slab through its middle.

Other visible features on Pan include rolling terrain, long ridges, and a few craters.

Spanning 30-kilometer across, Pan orbits inside the 300-kilometer wide Encke Gap of Saturn's expansive A-ring, a gap known since the late 1800s.

Next month, Cassini will be directed to pass near Saturn's massive moon Titan so it can be pulled into a final series of orbits that will take it, on occasion, completely inside Saturn's rings and prepare it to dive into Saturn's atmosphere.

 See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.