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Saturn's moon Pandora looks like a... potato?

The newest image, taken on December 18th, is one of the highest-resolution views ever taken of Saturn's moon Pandora

Lana Jelic | Dec 25, 2016 at 10:29 am CST (1 min, 22 secs time to read)

The Cassini space probe was launched in 1997, and after a long trip, it entered orbit around Saturn in 2004. Since then, Cassini has been sending valuable data and photos of the Saturn.

Saturn's moon Pandora looks like a... potato? | TweakTown.com

The newest image, taken on December 18th, is one of the highest-resolution views ever taken of Saturn's moon Pandora. The spacecraft captured the image during its closest-ever flyby of Pandora, during the third of its grazing passes by the outer edges of Saturn's main rings.

The image was taken at a distance of approximately 25,200 miles (40,500 kilometers) from Pandora.

Craters formed on this object by impacts appear to be covered by debris, a process that probably happens rapidly in a geologic sense. The grooves and small ridges on Pandora (84 kilometers, or 52 miles across) suggest that fractures affect the overlying smooth material.

Cassini's final phase called the Grand Finale begins in April 2017. A close flyby of Saturn's giant moon Titan will reshape the spacecraft's orbit so that it passes through the gap between Saturn and rings - an unexplored space only about 2,400 kilometers (1,500 miles) wide. During the Grand Finale, Cassini will make the closest-ever observation of the Saturn, and scientists hope to gain new insights into Saturn's interior structure.

The Grand Finale will come to an end on September 15, 2017, as Cassini dives into Saturn's atmosphere, returning data about the planet's chemical composition until its signal is lost. Friction with the atmosphere will cause the spacecraft to burn up like a meteor soon afterward.

Last updated: Apr 6, 2020 at 04:47 pm CDT

Lana Jelic

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Lana Jelic

Lana has a passion for technology and science. She spends her time looking for the latest and most interesting technology and science news. Her passion is in gadgets, wearables, and other cool and interesting applications of technology or science. She also spends her free time gaming in MMOs like World of Warcraft. She has prior experience covering technology for publications and breaking news. If she’s not doing either, you might just find her exploring the metaverse in VR. Lana wants to expand TweakTown’s coverage of mobile, wearables and gadgets while also bringing her experience with science and general tech to TweakTown. Her area of coverage is around science, technology, smartphones, wearables, and general neat gadgets. She hopes to one day be able to drive around in her self-driving car while she schedules an appointment for a SpaceX trip to the moon on her smartwatch.

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