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Gallery – Quintet of Saturnian moons

Five of Saturn's moons

Five of Saturn's moons can be seen in this image taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

A QUINTET OF SATURN’S MOONS can be seen in this view taken by the Cassini spacecraft.

Janus (179 kilometres wide) is on the far left. Pandora (81 kilometres) orbits between the A ring and the thin F ring near the middle of the image. Brightly reflective Enceladus (504 kilometres) appears above the centre of the image. Saturn’s second largest moon, Rhea (1,528 kilometres), is bisected by the right edge of the image. The smaller moon Mimas (396 kilometres) can be seen beyond Rhea also on the right side of the image.

This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane. Rhea is closest to the camera. Saturn’s rings are beyond Rhea and Mimas. Enceladus also is beyond the rings.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on July 29, 2011. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.1 million kilometres from Rhea and 1.8 million kilometres from Enceladus.

Adapted from information issued by NASA / JPL-Caltech / Space Science Institute.

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Gallery – Saturn’s four moon shuffle

Cassini image of four Saturnian moons

Four of Saturn's moons are visible in the image taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

A QUARTET OF SATURN’S MOONS, from tiny to huge, surround and are embedded within the planet’s rings in this Cassini image. Saturn itself is out of frame to the left.

Saturn’s largest moon, Titan (5,150 kilometres wide), is in the background of the image.

Next, in the foreground is Dione (1,123 kilometres wide), with the wispy terrain on its trailing hemisphere easily visible.

The third moon is Pandora(81 kilometres wide), which orbits just beyond the rings on the right of the image.

Saturn's rings with Pan in the  Encke gap

The tiny moon Pan appears as a speck in the gap in the rings.

Finally, tiny Pan (28 kilometres wide) can just be seen as a tiny speck in the ‘Encke Gap’ of the A ring on the left of the image.

Saturn has 62 known moons, with the vast majority of them being 50 kilometres or less in diameter.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on September 17, 2011, at a distance of approximately 2.1 million kilometres from Dione.

Adapted from information issued by NASA / JPL-Caltech / Space Science Institute.

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Meet the real Pandora

Close-up view of the moon Pandora

The Cassini spacecraft's best close-up view of Saturn's F ring shepherd moon, Pandora, shows that it is coated in fine dust-sized icy material. Cassini took this image from a distance of 52,000 kilometres.

Pandora is one of over 60 moons that orbit Saturn. Discovered in 1980 in images taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft, the tiny potato-shaped world is just 110 x 88 x 62 kilometres.

Circling the ringed planet at a distance of just under 142,000 kilometres, it takes only 15.1 hours to complete one orbit.

Pandora, along with its sibling Prometheus, is a shepherd moon, orbiting just outside Saturn’s thin F ring. The gravitational influence of the two moons helps keep the material in the F ring in check.

The small moon’s surface appears to be covered in a layer of dust-sized particles of ice. There also are a number of craters, a couple of them being around 30 kilometres wide.

Two of Saturn's moons and the F ring

Two of Saturn's small moons orbiting beyond the planet's thin F ring—Pandora on the left and Epimetheus on the right.

Pandora and Saturn's rings

An almost edge-on view of Saturn's rings, also showing Pandora and the giant ringed planet in the background.

Pandora casts its shadow upon the F ring.

Pandora casts its shadow upon the F ring.

Images courtesy NASA / JPL / Space Science Institute.

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