Cassini takes a close up look at Saturn’s moon Pandora

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has captured one of the highest-resolution views ever taken of Saturn’s moon Pandora. Pandora, which is 84 kilometres (52 miles) across, orbits Saturn just outside the narrow F ring.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute.

The spacecraft captured the image during its closest-ever flyby of Pandora on 18 December 2016, during the third of its grazing passes by the outer edges of Saturn’s main rings.

The image was taken in green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera at a distance of approximately 40,500 kilometres (25,200 miles) from Pandora. Image scale is 240 metres (787 feet) per pixel.

Cassini’s closest view prior to this flyby was on 5 September 2005 and achieved a resolution of 300 meters (1,000 feet) per pixel.

Previously Cassini captured this false colour view of Pandora Cassini created from infrared, green and ultraviolet images taken on 5 September 2005. Image: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Saturn: Exploring the Ringed Planet

Find out more about Saturn and its moons in this 196-page special edition from Astronomy Now.

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