CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Dark Moon, Dramatic Plume
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Below a darkened Enceladus, a plume of water ice is backlit in this view of one of Saturn's most dramatic moons.

See PIA11688 and PIA08386 to learn more about the jets of water ice emanating from the south polar region of Enceladus. Lit terrain seen here is on the leading hemisphere of Enceladus (313 miles, 504 kilometers across). North is up.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Feb. 20, 2012. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 83,000 miles (134,000 kilometers) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 165 degrees. Image scale is 2,628 feet (801 meters) per pixel.

The Cassini Solstice Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. 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 was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team consists of scientists from the US, England, France, and Germany. The imaging operations center and team lead (Dr. C. Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini Solstice Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Released: March 12, 2012 (PIA 14599)
Image/Caption Information
  Dark Moon, Dramatic Plume
PIA 14599

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