Cassini spies the wrinkled, fractured and remarkably crater-poor terrain of Enceladus. Scientists are working to understand what causes the moon's surprising geologic activity (see Fountains of Enceladus).
North on Enceladus (505 kilometers, 314 miles across) is up and rotated 20 degrees to the left.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Sept. 8, 2006 at a distance of approximately 560,000 kilometers (348,000 miles) from Enceladus and at a Sun- Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 103 degrees. 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