Peeking over the crescent of Enceladus, the Cassini spacecraft views the towering plume of ice particles erupting from the moon's south polar region.
Multiple components of the overall plume are visible in this view of Enceladus (505 kilometers, or 314 miles across).
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 24, 2007 at a distance of approximately 188,000 kilometers (117,000 miles) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 153 degrees. Image scale is 1 kilometer (0.6 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.
For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute