Image: Saturn's brightly reflective moon Enceladus

May 11, 2012
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

(Phys.org) -- A brightly reflective Enceladus appears before Saturn's rings, while the planet's larger moon Titan looms in the distance.

Jets of water ice and vapor emanating from the south pole of , which hint at subsurface sea rich in organics, and ponding on the surface on the surface of Titan make these two of the most fascinating moons in the Saturnian system.

Enceladus (313 miles, or 504 kilometers across) is in the center of the image. Titan (3,200 miles, or 5,150 kilometers across) glows faintly in the background beyond the rings. This view looks toward the anti-Saturn side of Enceladus and the Saturn-facing side of Titan. The northern, sunlit side of the rings is seen from just above the ringplane.

The image was taken in visible green light with the narrow-angle camera on March 12, 2012. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 600,000 miles (1 million kilometers) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 36 degrees. Image scale is 4 miles (6 kilometers) per pixel on Enceladus.

Explore further: Heavy metal frost? A new look at a Venusian mystery

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Space Image: Rings, Titan and Enceladus

Apr 19, 2012

Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus hangs below the gas giant’s rings while Titan lurks in the background, in this new image taken by the Cassini spacecraft.   Faint detail of the tiger stripe mark ...

Moon Illusion tricks the eye

Jan 19, 2011

We’ve all experienced the Moon Illusion, where our own full Moon looks bigger when seen on the Earth’s horizon. But how about this illusion where you can’t really tell which of these two moons ...

Rings on the horizon

Jan 26, 2011

The Cassini spacecraft has taken a some recent images of two of Saturn’s most notorious moons, where in both images the planet’s rings serve as a backdrop. Above, Enceladus stands out with its cratered ...

Image: Bright are Saturn's moons

Jul 06, 2011

The Cassini spacecraft observed three of Saturn's moons set against the darkened night side of the planet in this image from April 2011.

Recommended for you

Heavy metal frost? A new look at a Venusian mystery

16 hours ago

Venus is hiding something beneath its brilliant shroud of clouds: a first order mystery about the planet that researchers may be a little closer to solving because of a new re-analysis of twenty-year-old ...

Hot explosions on the cool sun

22 hours ago

(Phys.org) —The Sun is more spirited than previously thought. Apart from the solar eruptions, huge bursts of particles and radiation from the outer atmosphere of our star, also the cooler layer right below ...

Europe secures new generation of weather satellites

23 hours ago

Contracts were signed today to build three pairs of MetOp Second Generation satellites, ensuring the continuity of essential information for global weather forecasting and climate monitoring for decades to ...

User comments : 0