Pan, the innermost known satellite, was found from photographs taken by Voyager during its encounter with Saturn. It was discovered by Mark R. Showalter in 1990, 9 years after the Voyager encounter. Pan is located 133,583 kilometers from the center of Saturn and is within the Encke Gap of Saturn's A-ring. It acts as a shepherd and is responsible for keeping the Encke gap open. It has a diameter of 20 kilometers.
Discovered by Mark R. Showalter
Date of discovery 1990
Mass (kg) ?
Equatorial radius (km) 9.655
Equatorial radius (Earth = 1) 1.5138e-03
Mean density (gm/cm^3) ?
Mean distance from Saturn (km) 133,583
Rotational period (days) ?
Orbital period (days) 0.5750
Mean orbital velocity (km/sec) 16.90
Orbital eccentricity 0.00
Orbital inclination (degrees) 0.0
Visual geometric albedo 0.5
Magnitude (Vo) ?
|Views of Pan|
This image shows the small moolet Pan located within the Saturn's Encke gap. The contrast has been enhanced and the image has been sharpened. (Credit: Calvin J. Hamilton)
Pan Within Encke Gap
This is the highest resolution image of Pan from the Voyager data. This image shows the A ring entering Saturn's shadow. Pan is located in the center of the small box within the Encke gap. Pan is shown enlarged and enhanced in the inset box. (Credit: Calvin J. Hamilton)
Showalter, Mark R., "Visual detection of 1981S13, Saturn's eighteenth satellite, and its role in the Encke gap," Nature, Vol. 351, 27 June 1991, 709-713.
Copyright © 1997 by Calvin J. Hamilton. All rights reserved.