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Saturn's Saucer Moons
Saturn's Saucer Moons (click to enlarge)

Saturn's Saucer Moons

Atlas and Pan show their distinctive flying saucer shapes in this composite of images taken by the Cassini spacecraft. The saucer shapes are caused by equatorial ridges not seen on the other moons of Saturn.

From left to right: a view of Atlas' trailing hemisphere, with north up, at a spatial scale of about one kilometer (0.6 mile) per pixel; Atlas seen at about 250 m (820 feet) per pixel from mid-southern latitudes, with the sub-Saturn hemisphere at the top and leading hemisphere to the left; Pan's trailing hemisphere seen at about 3 km (2 miles) per pixel from low southern latitudes; an equatorial view, with Saturn in the background, of Pan's anti-Saturn hemisphere at about one kilometer (0.6 mile) per pixel.

The images were acquired with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera between 2005 and 2007. Atlas is 39 km (24 miles) across at its equator and 18 km (11 miles) across at its poles; Pan is 33 km (20.5 miles) across at its equator and 21 km (13 miles) across at its poles.

Last Update: 20 Jun 2011 (AMB)


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Last Updated: 20 Jun 2011