The brightly reflective moon Enceladus appears before Saturn's rings while the larger moon Titan looms in the distance.
Jets of water ice and vapor emanating from the south pole of Enceladus and hinting at a subsurface, organic-rich sea, and liquid hydrocarbons ponded on the surface Titan make these two of the most fascinating moons in the Saturnian system. See PIA07787 to learn more about these geologically active moons.
Enceladus (313 miles, 504 kilometers across) is in the center of the image. Titan (3200 miles, 5150 kilometers across) can faintly be seen in the background beyond the rings. This view looks toward the anti-Saturn side of Enceladus and the Saturn-facing side of Titan. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on March 12, 2012. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 621,000 miles (1 million kilometers) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 36 degrees. Image scale is 4 miles (6 kilometers) per pixel on Enceladus.
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.