This close-up view of Saturn's moon Enceladus looks toward the moon's terminator (the transition from day to night) and shows a distinctive pattern of continuous, ridged, slightly curved and roughly parallel faults within the moon's southern polar latitudes. These surface features have been informally referred to by imaging scientists as "tiger stripes" due to their distinctly stripe-like appearance when viewed in false color (see Enceladus In False Color).
Illumination of the scene is from the lower left. The image was obtained in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on July 14, 2005, at a distance of about 20,720 kilometers (12,880 miles) from Enceladus, and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 46 degrees. The image scale is 122 meters (400 feet) per pixel. The image's contrast has been enhanced to aid visibility of surface features.
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