CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Dark Side of the Moon Enceladus

Enceladus looks as though it is half lit by sunlight in this view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft, but looks can be deceiving. The area on the right, where surface features can be made out, are actually illuminated by light reflected off of Saturn. A sliver of surface illuminated by direct sunlight is visible on the left.

Images like this one are designed to capture the extended plume of icy material spraying from the moon's south polar region. Such images need to be taken with Cassini looking toward the icy moon's night side, since the small particles in the plume are most easily seen when backlit by the sun.

This view looks toward the leading hemisphere of Enceladus. North on Enceladus is up. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 10, 2015.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 226,000 miles (364,000 kilometers) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase angle of 152 degrees. Image scale is 1.4 miles (2.2 kilometers) per pixel.

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: August 24, 2015 (PIA 18328)
Image/Caption Information
  Dark Side of the Moon Enceladus
PIA 18328

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