Bruce Murray Space Image Library
A Moon Through the Plumes
As Cassini traveled toward Enceladus' south pole, Saturn's rings and largest moon, Titan, came into view in the background. The rings are seen nearly edge-on and from their southern, unilluminated face, so they are mostly dark, except for the sparse, dusty F ring, which makes a bright streak across the image. (Like the ice crystals in Enceladus' geysers or dust motes in a sunbeam, the F ring particles are strongly forward scattering, which means they appear brightest when the Sun is nearly behind them.) The Sun is also nearly behind Titan, so we see it as a very thin crescent, but Titan's thick atmosphere and high-altitude haze layers also scatter light forward to Cassini's camera. This version is highly processed: a long exposure that reveals the plumes was combined with a shorter exposure of Titan and the rings. In addition, Titan has been colorized with a color image from a different date.