This wonderful sight is brought to us courtesy of the Cassini spacecraft which has been studying Saturn and its satellites over the last decade. Enceladus can be seen above Saturn’s rings while Rhea lies below them in this picture. The tiny Atlas (only 30 kilometers across) is also supposedly captured just to the left of Rhea, expertly hidden within one of Saturn’s rings. This picture was taken using Cassini’s narrow angle camera or Imaging Science System. Cassinia was somewhere between 2 million and 2.8 million kilometers from these Saturnian moons when this picture was taken.
The one thing that never really gets old is a visual representation of the size of Saturn, especially when compared to some of its moons. This is one such case where the Cassini-Huygens mission, which is a joint US-Europe venture, continues to do yeoman’s works by providing us amazing pictures of Saturn and its neighborhood. We have circled the small Enceladus (only 504 kilometers across) as it was photographed by the wide angle camera on the Cassini spacecraft, from a distance of approximately 948,000 kilometers from Saturn.
NASA’s Voyager 1 took this grainy picture of Enceladus on November 12, 1980 from a distance of 655,000 kilometers (393,000 miles).
Enceladus is the sixth largest moon/satellite of the planet Saturn and the fourteenth satellite, ordered by distance from the planet. It seems to be composed of (liquid) water under an icy surface. This creates a lack of visible surface detail on the satellite and makes it very different from other, larger Saturnian moons. Enceladus is named after the Giant Enceladus of Greek mythology.