Online Astronomy eText: Satellites (Moons)
The Satellites (Moons) of Saturn: Pandora Link for sharing this page on Facebook
     Pandora is one of the inner "shepherd" satellites embedded in Saturn's ring system. Along with Prometheus, which is in almost the same orbit, it traps dust particles ejected from the two moons by meteorite impacts to form the F ring. The inner of the two moons gradually gains on the outer one (since smaller orbits have shorter orbital periods), and when it laps the outer one their gravitational interaction causes small changes ("perturbations") in each others' orbits. As a result, Pandora and Prometheus' orbits are slightly "chaotic", varying irregularly around their average orbital elements.

Pandora as imagesd by Voyager 2 on August 25, 1981 (NASA, JPL, Voyager 2)

Pandora as photographed by the Cassini spacecraft in 2005
(Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA, apod051123)

Data for Pandora

Discovered by S.Collins and others in 1980, from Voyager 1 photographs
Named after the first human woman created by the Gods (in Greek mythology)
Orbital size 141,700 km (about 88,000 miles) (just outside F ring)
Orbital eccentricity 0%
Orbital inclination 0 degrees
Orbital period 15.0 hours
Diameter about 110 x 90 x 60 km (about 68 x 55 x 39 miles) (quite irregular)
Mass, density and surface gravity uncertain
Albedo (reflectivity) 90%
Outer of two shepherd moons (inner is Prometheus) which control Saturn's F ring