The Cassini spacecraft acquired this view of Enceladus just after the spacecraft passed within 25 kilometers (15 miles) of the surface on Oct. 9, 2008. Remarkably, only a handful of craters are visible in this view, indicating the relatively young age of this surface.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Oct. 9, 2008 at a distance of approximately 38,000 kilometers (24,000 miles) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 73 degrees. Image scale is 228 meters (746 feet) per pixel.
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.