June 22, 2010
The highly reflective surface of Saturn's moon Enceladus is almost completely illuminated in this Cassini spacecraft image taken at a low phase angle.
The phase angle, or Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft angle, for this view is 2 degrees. Enceladus is one of the most reflective bodies in the solar system because it is constantly coated by fresh, white ice particles. See Occulting Enceladus and Icy Enceladus to learn more.
This view looks toward the trailing hemisphere of Enceladus (504 kilometers, or 313 miles across). North on Enceladus is up. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 423,000 kilometers (263,000 miles) from Enceladus. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Oct. 14, 2009. Image scale is 3 kilometers (2 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