December 3, 2008
Numerous stars provide a serene background in this view of Enceladus captured by the Cassini spacecraft while the moon was in eclipse, within Saturn's shadow
The view looks up at Enceladus' south pole.
Although they are not visible at this viewing angle, the icy moon's famed jets are aimed toward the spacecraft as it acquired this image.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Oct. 9, 2008 at a distance of approximately 83,000 kilometers (52,000 miles) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 73 degrees. Image scale is 5 kilometers (3 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 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 operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute