Saturn's active, ocean-bearing moon Enceladus sinks behind the giant planet in a farewell portrait from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
This view of Enceladus was taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on Sept. 13, 2017. It is among the last images Cassini sent back.
The view is part of a movie sequence of images taken over a period of 40 minutes as the icy moon passed behind Saturn from the spacecraft's point of view.
Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were assembled to create the natural color view. (A monochrome version of the image, taken using a clear spectral filter, is also available.) The images were taken using Cassini's narrow-angle camera at a distance of 810,000 million miles (1.3 million kilometers) from Enceladus and about 620,000 miles (1 million kilometers) from Saturn. Image scale on Enceladus is 5 miles (8 kilometers) 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.