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Sci-Tech

See Saturn's funky moon Pandora in striking NASA close-up

NASA's Cassini spacecraft cuddles up close to Pandora, one of Saturn's smallest and strangest moons.

Pandora might be considered an ugly duckling.

NASA

We're a bit spoiled here on Earth with our wonderfully round-looking moon. Saturn has dozens of moons, and there are some odd-shaped satellites in the bunch, including the strange lumpy little moon Pandora.

On Thursday, NASA released a new image of Pandora taken during the Cassini spacecraft's closest-ever flyby of the moon on December 18.

Cassini snapped the picture from 25,200 miles (40,500 kilometers) away. It highlights the moon's irregular shape and deep divots. It's even funkier looking than the planet's oddball potato-shaped moon Prometheus.

Pandora is on the small size, measuring a mere 52 miles (84 kilometers) across. Compare that to Saturn's largest moon Titan at 3,200 miles (5,150 kilometers) across.

Cassini launched in 1997 and has spent the bulk of its mission studying the ringed planet and its many satellites. The mission concludes in 2017 when Cassini is scheduled dive into Saturn's atmosphere.