A moon and stars at Saturn

Image: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.
Image: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.

Numerous stars provide a serene background in this view of Saturn’s moon Enceladus captured by the Cassini spacecraft while the moon was in eclipse, within the ringed planet’s shadow.

The view looks up at Enceladus’ south pole. Although they are not visible at this viewing angle, the icy moon’s famed jets are aimed toward the spacecraft as it acquired this image.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on 9 October 2008 at a distance of approximately 83,000 kilometres (52,000 miles) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 73 degrees. Image scale is 5 kilometres (3 miles) per pixel.

Saturn: Exploring the Ringed Planet

Find out more about Saturn and its moons in this 196-page special edition from Astronomy Now. Order from our online store.