March 18, 2009
Basking in sunlight, Enceladus looks peaceful and quiet while unseen jets of vapor and icy particles shoot from the south polar terrain of this active moon.
The jets can't be seen here, but to watch a movie showing graphically the locations and directions of the jets emanating from the "tiger stripes" in the south polar region see Enceladus' Jets.
North on Enceladus (504 kilometers, or 313 miles across) is up in this image. Lit terrain seen here is on the leading hemisphere of the moon.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Feb. 20, 2009. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.1 million kilometers (680,000 miles) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 39 degrees. Image scale is 6 kilometers (4 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