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: Moon Illusion tricks the eye

Related Stories

Moon Illusion tricks the eye

January 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 of Saturn is ...

Rings on the horizon

January 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 surface, ...

Image: Bright are Saturn's moons

July 6, 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.

Space Image: Rings, Titan and Enceladus

April 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 markings can be seen ...

Recommended for you

New Horizons team selects potential Kuiper Belt flyby target

August 29, 2015

NASA has selected the potential next destination for the New Horizons mission to visit after its historic July 14 flyby of the Pluto system. The destination is a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) known as 2014 MU69 that orbits ...

Dawn spacecraft sends sharper scenes from Ceres

August 25, 2015

The closest-yet views of Ceres, delivered by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, show the small world's features in unprecedented detail, including Ceres' tall, conical mountain; crater formation features and narrow, braided fractures.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.