ESA Science & Technology04-Jul-2005 10:36:29

Saturn's Moons


XVIII - Discovered by Showalter (1990)

Physical Parameters

Orbital Parameters

Radius (km)


Radius (km)

133 583

Mean Density (kgm-3)



13h 50m

Mass (kg)

2.7 x 1015

Velocity (kms-1)


Magnitude (V0)


Rotational Period


Escape Velocty (kms-1)




Mean Surface Albedo


Inclination ( )


Knowledge before Cassini-Huygens

Pan orbits in the Encke Gap a division within the A ring. Discovery occurred in 1990 after reanalysis of Voyager images when scientists were looking for a source for wave patterns in the A ring. The moon is just 20 km across and is responsible for maintaining the Encke Gap, which is just 270 km wide.

*Note: in the following section all images courtesy NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute unless stated otherwise.

21 June 2004

Cassini Instrument: Imaging Science Subsystem

Date: 21 June 2004

Distance: 6.5 million km

Scale: 39 km per pixel

Image Notes: This is a still shot taken from an animated sequence. The contrast is enhanced giving the rings a somewhat washed-out appearance.

24 June 2005

Cassini Instrument: Imaging Science Subsystem

Date: 18 May 2005

Distance: 1.6 million km

Scale: 9 km per pixel

Image Notes: Two differently processed versions of the same image. The top image shows two of the faint, dusty ringlets that also occupy the Encke Gap. The bottom image reveals the wakes in the rings induced by Pan's gravitational influence.

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