Brilliant Blip Beyond Saturn
The highly reflective moon Enceladus appears as a bright dot beyond a crescent Saturn in this Cassini image.
Enceladus (504 kilometers, or 313 miles across) is visible above the ringplane to the left of the center of the image, and the moon is farther away from Cassini than the planet is. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Oct. 23, 2009 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 728 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 2.8 million kilometers (1.7 million miles) from Enceladus and 2.6 million kilometers (1.6 million miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 149 kilometers (93 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.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute