Date: 25 Dec 2009
At least four distinct plumes of water ice spew out from the south polar region of Saturn's moon Enceladus in this dramatically illuminated image.
Light reflected off Saturn is illuminating the surface of the moon while the sun, almost directly behind Enceladus, is backlighting the plumes.
This view looks toward the Saturn-facing side of Enceladus (504 km, or 313 miles across). North is up.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on 25 December 2009. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 617,000 km (383,000 miles) from Enceladus and at a sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 174 degrees. Image scale is 4 km (2 miles) per pixel.
Last Update: 28 Mar 2011 (AMB)
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute