CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
White Moon

As Cassini sped away from Enceladus following its close Aug. 2008 flyby, the moon's wrinkled south polar region remained in view.

The blue-green hues so apparent in false color views like PIA11112 (obtained three hours before this image) are absent in natural-color views like this one, which approximate the scene as it might appear to human eyes. In visible light, the surface of Enceladus is almost perfectly white.

Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this view. The images were digitally reprojected onto a computer model of Enceladus, and aligned there, in order to account for the spacecraft's rapid motion with respect to the moon.

The images were acquired with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Aug. 12, 2008 at a distance of approximately 201,000 kilometers (125,000 miles) from Enceladus. Image scale is 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) 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: September 19, 2008 (PIA 10473)
Image/Caption Information
  White Moon
PIA 10473

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Alliance Member Comments
Red_dragon (Sep 19, 2008 at 8:19 AM):
Thank you for this image. It's really curious how, as you comment above, the blue-green blues of false-color images disappear and the real-looking Enceladus looks nearly white and colorless; I believed it was the typical B-W image until I took a look at the caption and saw it's a true color one.