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Basking in sunlight, Enceladus looks peaceful and quiet while unseen jets of vapor and icy particles shoot from the south polar terrain of this active moon.
The jets can't be seen here, but to watch a movie showing graphically the locations and directions of the jets emanating from the "tiger stripes" in the south polar region see PIA11136.
North on Enceladus (504 kilometers, 313 miles across) is up in this image. Lit terrain seen here is on the leading hemisphere of the moon. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Feb. 20, 2009. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.1 million kilometers (655,000 miles) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 39 degrees. Image scale is 6 kilometers (4 miles) per pixel.
The Cassini Equinox 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.