On December 19, 2015, the Cassini spacecraft captured this image during its final close flyby of Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus. Taken about 24,000 kilometers (15,000 miles) from the moon's surface, it also reveals the layered atmosphere of Saturn beyond.
Launched in 1997, Cassini began orbiting Saturn in 2004. It completed its initial four-year mission in 2008 and its first extended mission in 2010. The spacecraft remains in orbit, continuing to study the planet and its rings and moons on its second extended mission.
In late 2016, Cassini will begin an exciting set of orbits called the Grand Finale. During these orbits, it will collect data on Saturn’s gravitational and magnetic fields, ring mass, atmosphere, and ionosphere. It will also acquire the last views of Enceladus.