A crescent Enceladus, imaged at high phase, shows off its spectacular water ice plumes emanating from the south polar region of this moon of Saturn.
This image was captured at a phase, or Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, angle of 157 degrees so that sunlight would reveal the backlit plumes. Terrain near the south pole is now dark as spring has come to the northern hemisphere of the moon. See PIA11688 and PIA11685 for earlier, closer views.
Lit terrain seen here is on trailing hemisphere 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 Jan. 30, 2011. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 228,000 kilometers (141,000 miles) from Enceladus. Image scale is 1 kilometer (4,467 feet) 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.