CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

A Song of Ice and Light
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A Song of Ice and Light
PIA 17144

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  Saturn’s moon Enceladus drifts before the rings and the tiny moon Pandora in this view that NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured on Nov. 1, 2009. The entire scene is backlit by the Sun, providing striking illumination for the icy particles that make up both the rings and the jets emanating from the south pole of Enceladus, which is about 314 miles (505 km) across. Pandora, which is about (52 miles, 84 kilometers) wide, was on the opposite side of the rings from Cassini and Enceladus when the image was taken. This view looks toward the night side on Pandora as well, which is lit by dim golden light reflected from Saturn.

This natural-color image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft’s narrow-angle camera at a distance of approximately 149,600 miles (240,800 kilometers) from Enceladus and 352,200 miles (566,800 kilometers) from Pandora.

The Cassini spacecraft ended its mission on Sept. 15, 2017.

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.

For more information about the Cassini Solstice Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Released: February 12, 2018 (PIA 17144)
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