CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Enceladus at Low Phase

Enceladus at Low Phase
PIA 12660

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  The highly reflective surface of Saturn's moon Enceladus is almost completely illuminated in this Cassini image taken at a low phase angle.

The phase angle, or Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft angle, for this view is 2 degrees. Enceladus is one of the most reflective bodies in the solar system because it is constantly coated by fresh, white ice particles. See PIA10500 and PIA05422 to learn more.

This view looks toward the trailing hemisphere of Enceladus (504 kilometers, 313 miles across). North on Enceladus is up. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 423,000 kilometers (263,000 miles) from Enceladus. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Oct. 14, 2009. 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.

For more information about the Cassini Equinox Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: June 22, 2010 (PIA 12660)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
NeKto (Jun 22, 2010 at 12:23 PM):
Yes, that snowball is bright.
intriguing that the Saturn system includes some of the brightest albedo in the Solar system and some of the darkest. i am so glad i am able to see the images from this mission. i have told so many people that this is my favorite web site that i lost count years ago. this has to be one of the simplest images i've seen here, but it was well worth the look. Just like all the other images i've seen.