Cassini takes an icy look and frozen Enceladus, one of the most likely candidates for life beyond Earth. (Image Credit: NASA))

Enceladus—one of Saturn’s most incredible moons—is known for its resemblance to a huge snowball. Looks aside, this small, icy world is also one of the most scientifically fascinating places in our entire solar system.

Over the years, many interesting developments have come to light. Heck, just a few months back, NASA found promising evidence of hydrothermal activity on Enceladus. Long before that, the first sign that moon is, in fact, alive, appeared in the form of cryovolcanoes—volcano-like objects that spew water-ice and other volatiles.

Astronomers have since discovered well over 100 geysers on Enceladus, which are fed by a subsurface body of water—some of which, remains in liquid form.

In the latest image, Cassini-Huygens captures one of Enceladus’ geyser in action:

Taken by Cassini, Enceladus can be seen erupting in this image (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Cal-tech/Space Science Institute)

Taken from a distance of 226,000 miles (364,000 km) (at a scale of 1.4 miles/2.2 km per pixel), sunlight appears to be glinting off the surface of Enceladus, but that is an illusion. Instead, we are actually seeing light that was reflected off the surface of Saturn, though a small bit of direct sunlight peeks into the frame on the left.

According to NASA’s press release:

Sadly, this is one of the last images of Enceladus we will see for a very long time. In the near future, the Cassini-Huygens mission will come to an end, The probe will eventually dive head-first into Saturn’s atmosphere, getting incinerated by the high temperatures somewhere along the way. Fortunately, there are three more flybys planned, one on October 14th, another for October 28th and the final one on December 191th, 2015.

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