Saturn’s rings cast shadows on the planet’s cloud tops, providing a perfect backdrop for the brilliant sphere of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. The tiny world’s bright white surface results in part from a snow of material originating from the towering plume of icy particles at Enceladus’ south pole.
This image looks toward the leading side of Enceladus (504 kilometers, or 313 miles across). North is up.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft’s narrow-angle camera on June 28, 2007. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 291,000 kilometers (181,000 miles) from Enceladus. Image scale is about 2 kilometers (1 mile) per pixel.
The Cassini spacecraft ended its mission on Sept. 15, 2017
The Cassini mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (the European Space Agency) and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute