Encyclopedia > Pan (moon)

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Pan (moon)

Discovered byMark R. Showalter[?]
Discovered in1990
Orbital characteristics
Semimajor axis133,583 km
Orbital period13h 48m
Is a satellite ofSaturn
Physical characteristics
Mean radius10 km
Mass2.7×1015 kg
Mean density0.6 g/cm3
Surface gravity0.002m/s2
>Rotation periodunknown
Axial tilt

Pan is a moon of Saturn, named after the god Pan. It was discovered by Mark R. Showalter[?] in 1990 from analysis of old Voyager probe photos. Pan is within the Encke Division in Saturn's A ring; it acts as a shepherd and is responsible for keeping the Encke gap open. Its gravity produces wave patterns in the rings that indicated Pan's presence and led to the reexamination of Voyager photographs of its predicted location. Other undiscovered moons may exist within Saturn's rings.

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