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Both ancient and more recent surfaces are exposed in this view of Saturn's moon Enceladus.
The geologically young terrain of the solar polar region can be discerned here and contrasts with the older, cratered terrain visible in the north. See PIA11685 to learn more.
Enceladus, the most reflective body in the solar system, appears particularly bright in this image taken at a low phase, or Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, angle of 12 degrees. This view looks toward the Saturn-facing side of Enceladus (504 kilometers, 313 miles across). North is up.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Dec. 26, 2009. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 472,000 kilometers (293,000 miles) from Enceladus. Image scale is 3 kilometers (2 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.