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Cassini Week: Moons Mimas and Pan

11 Sep 2017, 18:28 UTC
Cassini Week: Moons Mimas and Pan
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This week we’re celebrating the accomplishments of the Cassini spacecraft which, in just a few days, will plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere in its Grand Finale. Today, we take a look at just two of Saturn’s more than 60 moons: Mimas and Pan.
When it comes to Saturn’s moon Mimas, Cassini kept delivering surprise after surprise. First, there was a fantastic image showing us, in great detail, Mimas’s remarkable Herschel crater (Voyager 1 was the first to give us images of Herschel crater, but they paled in comparison to what Cassini revealed).
Mimas, with prominent Herschel crater. – Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Then again, maybe…

But Cassini revealed another surprise on Mimas. When it took a look at its infrared profile and created a temperature map, we found Pac-Man.
Mimas Temperature Map – Source: NASA/JPL/Goddard/SWRI/SSI
While Mimas is quite a unique satellite of our beloved ringed planet, Pan certainly deserves some recognition as well.
Saturn’s ravioli moon, Pan – Source: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
The above image was captured in March of 2017, as Cassini zoomed within 15,300 miles (24,600 kilometers) of Pan.
I don’t know about you, but this moon makes me hungry for a pan of ravioli.

Stay tuned, more ...

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