Taking a shine to Enceladus

Saturn’s rings cast shadows on the planet’s cloud tops, providing a perfect backdrop for the brilliant sphere of the moon Enceladus in this image taken by NASA’s Cassini in 2007. The tiny world’s bright white surface results in part from a snow of material originating from the towering plume of icy particles at Enceladus’ south pole.

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

This image looks toward the leading side of Enceladus (504 kilometres, or 313 miles across). North is up.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft’s narrow-angle camera on 28 June 2007. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 281,000 kilometres (175,000 miles) from Enceladus. Image scale is about 2 kilometers (1 mile) per pixel.

The Cassini mission ended on 15 September 2017 when the probe plunged into Saturn’s atmosphere.