The Cassini spacecraft watches over the northern latitudes of Saturn's geologically active moon Enceladus while the planet's rings peek through in the distance in this snapshot.
See PIA11684 to learn more about the surface of the moon. This view looks toward the northern latitudes of the anti-Saturn side of Enceladus (504 kilometers, or 313 miles across). North on Enceladus is up and rotated 21 degrees to the left.
This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Dec. 21, 2010 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 34,000 kilometers (21,000 miles) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 15 degrees. Image scale is 202 meters (663 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.