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The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

Enceladus at high phase, casting a shadow onto the E ring

Filed under Enceladus, pretty pictures, Cassini, amateur image processing, global views, Saturn's moons

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Enceladus at high phase, casting a shadow onto the E ring This unusual photo was taken by Cassini at very high phase, meaning that Cassini was looking at Enceladus' night side. But the night side is lit by light reflected off of Saturn, imbuing the moon with Saturn's yellow color. A streak of black to the 10:00 position is Enceladus' shadow, cast on the E ring.

NASA / JPL / SSI / Gordan Ugarkovic

Two narrow-angle clear filter frames were stacked and colorized based upon a red and blue frame covering only Enceladus' south polar region and plume. The overall plume color was used to colorize the rest of the clear filter frame and the saturnlit south polar region was used as color basis for the entire disc. The result was then contrast-enhanced to show Enceladus' faint shadow on the E-ring itself.

Even though both the plumes and Enceladus are basically a pure white color, Saturn's overall color is "imprinted" here on the moon, while the plumes are seen because they forward-scatter direct sunlight (this is a very high phase view so not even Enceladus' daylit crescent is visible).

Distance: 616 000 km
Phase angle: 174 deg

Copyright holder: Gordan Ugarkovic

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Contact us to request publication permission from the copyright holder. Original image data dated on or about December 25, 2009

 

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