Spray of Ice from Enceladus

This Cassini photograph shows Saturn’s moon Enceladus spraying water ice from its southern pole. And if you look carefully, you can also see Rhea’s southern pole just peeking out from below Saturn’s rings. Cassini took this photograph on June 9, 2006 when it was approximately 3.9 million kilometers (2.4 million miles) from Enceladus.

Enceladus blasts its icy spray into space in this unlit-side ring view that also features a tiny sliver of Rhea.

The south polar region of Rhea (1,528 kilometers, or 949 miles across) peeks out from beneath the rings to the right of Enceladus (505 kilometers, or 314 miles across).

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 9, 2006 at a distance of approximately 3.9 million kilometers (2.4 million miles) from Enceladus and 4.6 million kilometers (2.9 million miles) from Rhea. The Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle is 161 degrees. Image scale is 23 kilometers (14 miles) per pixel on Enceladus.

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 mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .

Original Source: NASA/JPL/SSI News Release