December 5, 2006
A ghostly view of Enceladus reveals the specter of the moon's icy plume of fine particles. Scientists continue to monitor the plume, where mission planning allows, using the Cassini spacecraft's imaging cameras.
This view looks toward northern latitudes on the trailing hemisphere of Enceladus (505 kilometers, or 314 miles across). North is up.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of ultraviolet light centered at 338 nanometers on Oct. 31, 2006. Cassini was then at a distance of approximately 1.4 million kilometers (900,000 miles) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 148 degrees. Image scale is 8 kilometers (5 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