The sunlit plumes of Enceladus
The Cassini spacecraft takes a fresh perspective on Saturn’s icy moon
The plumes of gas jetting from Enceladus' south-polar region are here seen from afar, backlit by sunlight while the moon itself glows softly in reflected Saturn-shine.
Observations of the jets taken from different angles provide different insights into these remarkable features. The Cassini mission has gathered a wealth of information in the hopes of unraveling the mysteries of the subsurface ocean that lurks beneath the moon's icy crust.
This view looks toward the Saturn-facing hemisphere of Enceladus. North is up. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 13, 2017.
The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 808,000 kilometers from Enceladus and with near-perfect alignment of the Sun, Enceladus and the spacecraft.