Saturn's massive atmosphere appears poised to crush little Enceladus in this image. Many fascinating details are visible in the gas planet's sinuous bands, such as a giant, eye-shaped storm that circles the south pole. The diameter of Enceladus is 499 kilometers, (310 miles).
The image was taken in visible blue light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera on Oct. 12, 2004, at a distance of about 5.3 million kilometers (3.3 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 68 degrees. The image scale is 31 kilometers (19 miles) per pixel.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, 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 Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.
For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and the Cassini imaging team home page, http://ciclops.org .
NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute