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Cassini Showcases Amazing Features of Pan and Enceladus in High Resolution Images
Cassini mission team has shared amazing images of Saturn’s moons Pan and Enceladus. Saturn’s icy, geyser-spewing mono has an amazing surface with higher number of craters in northern region. The Enceladus image shared by NASA was clicked by Cassini on November 27, 2016.
NASA informed that each pixel measures nearly 1,310 feet across and the images were taken by Cassini at a distance of 41,000 miles from surface of Enceladus. Cassini mission has provided amazing images for astronomers and scientific community.
Enceladus hosts an ocean of liquid water under its icy crust. The satellite with diameter of 313 miles is among bigger satellites in Saturn system.
A report published by Space.com informed, “The $3.2 billion Cassini-Huygens mission, a joint effort involving NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency, launched in October 1997 and arrived at Saturn in July 2004. The Cassini mothership delivered a lander called Huygens to the surface of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, in January 2005, then kept studying the ringed planet and its many moons.”
Before the mission ends, it will be making ‘ring-grazing’ maneuvers and during of these, Cassini has provided high resolution images of Saturn’s moon Pan. Pan is a small, walnut-shaped moon with diameter of 35 kilometers.
Pan is the innermost satellite in the Saturn system and talking about images, Carolyn Porco, imaging lead for the Cassini mission, said, “Pan in mind-blowing detail with its unmistakable accretionary equatorial bulge.”
Saturn has many small moons present in its system and it has been an interesting project for astronomers. Planetary scientists suggest that the cores of these small satellites were denser in the past.
In a research paper, NASA team informed, “Pan creates stripes, called "wakes," in the ring material on either side of it. Since ring particles closer to Saturn than Pan move faster in their orbits, these particles pass the moon and receive a gravitational "kick" from Pan as they do. This kick causes waves to develop in the gap and also throughout the ring, extending hundreds of miles into the rings.”
Moons of Saturn were originally named for Greco-Roman Titans and descendants of the Titans. But as many new moons were discovered scientists began selecting names from more mythologies, including Gallic, Inuit and Norse stories.