SATURN’S MOON ENCELADUS reflects sunlight brightly while the planet and its rings fill the background, in this image (above) taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.
Enceladus, 504 kilometres wide, is one of the most reflective bodies in the Solar System because it is constantly coated by fresh, white ice particles.
The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 102,000 kilometres from Enceladus, giving an image resolution of 612 metres per pixel.
In an image from a different angle (below), Cassini looked over cratered and tectonically deformed terrain on Enceladus as the camera also caught a glimpse of Saturn’s rings in the background. The image was taken during the spacecraft’s flyby of Enceladus on November 30, 2010.
Geologically young terrain in the middle latitudes of the moon gives way to older, cratered terrain in the northern latitudes.
The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 46,000 kilometres from Enceladus, giving an image scale of 276 metres per pixel.
Adapted from information issued by NASA / JPL / Space Science Institute.
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