CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Twice-Lit Moon
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Twice-Lit Moon
PIA 11580

Avg Rating: 9.40/10

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  Two sources of light illuminate the textured surface of the moon Enceladus.

On the right of the image, sunlight bathes the anti-Saturn side of this geologically active moon. Saturnshine dimly lights the Saturn-facing side of the moon on the left of the image. The moon's surface is scarred by fractures, folds, and ridges.

This view looks toward the trailing hemisphere of Enceladus (504 kilometers, 313 miles across). North on Enceladus is up.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on July 26, 2009. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 199,000 kilometers (124,000 miles) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 97 degrees. Image scale is 1 kilometer (3,908 feet) 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.

For more information about the Cassini Equinox Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: September 15, 2009 (PIA 11580)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
Red_dragon (Sep 19, 2009 at 2:55 AM):
Beautiful and interesting. It's fun to follow the ridge sytem from the Sun-illuminated side to the Saturn-illuminated one. Thanks, CICLOPS, and keep them coming.
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971 (Sep 17, 2009 at 10:21 AM):
A very interesting image of Enceladus. The terminator is highlighting the complicated system of ridges and the important deep canyon. Both are indicating a lot of tectonic activity. Also the surroundings of both features are shown. For me this image is almost like a geologic ('enceladologic') map of this area.

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