PIA12600: Dual Illuminated Enceladus

 Dual Illuminated Enceladus

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Two light sources illuminate Saturn’s highly reflective moon Enceladus in this image featuring bright rings and the small moon Pandora in the foreground.

This view looks toward the Saturn-facing side of Enceladus (504 kilometers, or 313 miles across). Most of the moon is dimly lit by sunlight reflected off Saturn. However, a thin crescent of the moon is lit by sunlight on the moon’s leading hemisphere.

Pandora (81 kilometers, or 50 miles across) is visible on the left of the image, orbiting beyond the thin F ring and illuminated by sunlight and Saturnshine.

This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane. Enceladus is more distant than the rings in this view. Pandora is on side of the rings nearest Cassini.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Feb. 11, 2010. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.5 million kilometers (932,000 miles) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 142 degrees. Image scale is 9 kilometers (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 saturn.jpl.nasa.gov. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at ciclops.org.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Image Addition Date: 2010-03-30

Source: NASA’s Planetary Photojournal: Image No. PIA12600