NASA releases fresh pictures of Saturn's moon Pan via Cassini Spacecraft

Cassini captured the latest images of Pan on March 7 and it rather looks like a ravioli, according to the Internet

NASA has released a bunch of fresh pictures of Saturn's moon Pan and the shape of it looks rather weird.

A raw, unprocessed image of Saturn's moon Pan taken on March 7, 2017 by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

NASA's Cassini Spacecraft brought the images, which reveal a UFO like form of the satellite that has an average radius of just 8.8 miles. Cassini's Twitter account posted a GIF of the rather tine satellite.

The Internet then started drawing all kinds of comparison with Pan from a flying saucer to even Ravioli.

Cassini captured the latest images of Pan on March 7, while it passed by the satellite that brought it within 15,268 miles (24,572 kilometers) of the 22-mile-wide (35 km) Pan.

"These images are the closest images ever taken of Pan and will help to characterize its shape and geology," NASA officials wrote in a brief description of the photos, which were released Thursday

However, Pan's weird shape does have a scientific explanation. The ridge around it has formed over the time because it collects stray particles, as it orbits the Saturn inside the planet's ring, said Preston Dyches, a spokesman for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Pan is the closest moon of Saturn, among 60 other known satellites and orbits the planet in just 13.8 hours.

Saturn's moons have been full of surprises in other ways as well. The gigantic Titan, for instance, is the only solar system body other than Earth known to harbor stable bodies of liquid on its surface. But Titan's lakes and seas are full of hydrocarbons, not water. And the Saturn satellite Enceladus harbors an ocean of liquid water beneath its icy shell — a potentially habitable environment.

Cassini was launched in 2008 by NASA to explore the Saturn system. The $3.2 billion Cassini-Huygens mission is a joint effort by the Europian Space Agency and Italian space agency, Agenzia Spaziale Italiana.

Earlier this year Cassini sent back images of Saturn's another moon Mimas, which has an uncanny resemblance to the Death Star from the fictional series Star Wars.

Mimas NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Cassini will enter what NASA is calling the "Grand Finale" phase next month and the mission will end this September and it will return back to Earth. On its way back it will collect and bring more information about Saturn, such as its gravity and more pictures of the planet as well.