PIA08915: Astral Pearl

 Astral Pearl

Medium-Res JPEG

Full-Res JPEG (2.362 kB)

Full-Res TIFF (95.79 kB)


The high northern latitudes on Enceladus show little detail from Cassini’s distant vantage point, nearly 50 degrees above the moon’s equator.

The plume of icy material that jets from the south pole of Enceladus (505 kilometers, or 314 miles across) is not visible in this viewing geometry.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Feb. 26, 2007 at a distance of approximately 1.7 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 95 degrees. Scale in the original image was 10 kilometers (6 miles) per pixel. The image was contrast enhanced and magnified by a factor of two.

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 saturn.jpl.nasa.gov. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at ciclops.org.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Source: NASA’s Planetary Photojournal: Image No. PIA08915