Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2017 January 3
Explanation: What do the craters of Saturn's small moon Pandora look like up close? To help find out, NASA sent the robotic Cassini spacecraft, now orbiting Saturn, past the unusual moon two weeks ago. The highest resolution image of Pandora ever taken was then captured from about 40,000 kilometres out and is featured here. Structures as small as 300 metres can be discerned on 80-kilometre wide Pandora. Craters on Pandora appear to be covered over by some sort of material, providing a more smooth appearance than sponge-like Hyperion, another small moon of Saturn. Curious grooves and ridges also appear to cross the surface of the small moon. Pandora is partly interesting because, along with its companion moon Prometheus, it helps shepherd the particles of Saturn's F ring into a distinct ring.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.