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Pandora: Overview
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Color image of dusty potato-shaped moon Pandora.
Cassini's close-up view of Saturn's F ring shepherd moon, Pandora, shows that this small ring-moon is coated in fine dust-sized icy material.

Pandora, a potato-shaped moon, is coated in a fine (dust-sized) icy material. Even the craters on Pandora are coated in debris, a stark contrast to the crisply-defined craters of other moons, such as Hyperion. 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.

Pandora is about 84 km (52 miles) across.

Discovery:
Pandora was discovered in October 1980 by the Voyager 1 science team.

How Pandora Got its Name:
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.

In mythology, Pandora (pan-DOR-uh) was a work of art who was transformed into a human by the gods. Her curiosity was said to have loosed all manner of ills upon the world when she let evil creatures out of a locked box; however, she is also responsible for hope entering the world ("hope" had been the last "creature" in the box).

Just the Facts
Orbit Size (semi-major axis):  88,061 miles
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Last Updated: 12 Aug 2013