This Cassini image of Enceladus (504 kilometers, 313 miles across) shows a region containing bizarre, wrinkled terrain.
Enceladus is covered with bright water ice. The part of its surface visible here appears to be largely free of craters - indicating that it is geologically young. The first close imaging of this moon will be done by Cassini in February 2005 and should reveal many surprises.
This view shows primarily the leading hemisphere of Enceladus. The image has been rotated so that north on Enceladus is up.
The image was acquired with the narrow angle camera on January 15, 2005, from a distance of approximately 367,000 kilometers (228,000 miles) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 74 degrees. A combination of spectral filters sensitive to infrared and polarized light was used to obtain this view. Resolution in the original image was about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) per pixel. The image has been contrast-enhanced and magnified by a factor of two to aid visibility.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. 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.