June 18, 2010
Nearly invisible upon first glance, Saturn's moon Enceladus is a small bright dot beyond the planet's rings in this Cassini spacecraft image.
Enceladus (504 kilometers, or 313 miles across) is visible above the rings, just to the left of the planet. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible red light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Nov. 28, 2009. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 2.4 million kilometers (1.5 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 102 degrees. Image scale is 142 kilometers (88 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