A Moon Illuminated By Light Reflected From Its Planet

Here’s a picture of a moon shining by the light of its planet. Most of Enceladus in this image is illuminated by sunlight reflected from Saturn. The normally snow-white moon appears in the gold color of Saturn’s cloud tops. Because the light comes from the image left, a labyrinth of ridges throws notable shadows just to the right of the image center; the kilometer-deep canyon Labtayt Sulci is visible just below. The bright crescent on the is the part of Enceladus directly lit by the Sun. This image was taken by the Cassini spacecraft during a close pass by by the moon in 2011. If you look closely at the lower leftt of this digitally sharpened image, you can see plumes of ice crystals thought to originate in a subsurface sea.

Image Credit: NASA

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