As Enceladus spews water ice from its south polar region, Cassini also shows Saturn's faint G ring before the moon.
See PIA11688 and PIA08321 to learn more about this active moon and how it creates Saturn's E ring. The E ring is too diffuse to be seen here, but the G ring can just barely be seen in this image. The G ring is actually closer to Cassini here even though the ring appears to be behind Enceladus. The most brightly lit terrain seen on the moon here (on the left of the moon) is illuminated by the sun and is on the leading hemisphere of Enceladus (504 kilometers, 313 miles across). Light reflected off Saturn covers a larger area on the Saturn-facing side of the moon on the right.
North on Enceladus is up. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 26, 2010. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 993,000 kilometers (617,000 miles) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 162 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.