CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Saturn's Snowball

Hints of the curving linear grooves that crisscross bright, icy Enceladus (504 kilometers, 313 miles across) are just discernible in this image captured by Cassini. Enceladus is almost entirely composed of water ice and has a surface as bright as snow.

This view shows principally the leading hemisphere of Enceladus. The image was taken in visible light with Cassini's narrow angle camera on November 1, 2004, from a distance of 1.8 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 108 degrees. North is up. The image scale is about 11 kilometers (7 miles) per pixel. The image has been magnified by a factor of two and contrast enhanced to aid visibility of surface features.

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.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit and the Cassini imaging team home page,

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: December 27, 2004 (PIA 06547)
Image/Caption Information
  Saturn's Snowball
PIA 06547

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