Astro Image in the News:
Frozen Wasteland

Enceladus
Courtesy NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.
On July 14th the Cassini orbiter made its closest pass yet of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus. The craft flew past the satellite at a distance of only 175 kilometers (109 miles).

This pair of raw images, shot from 210 kilometers away, reveals the frozen landscape in stunning detail. The image above, shot with the craft's wide-angle camera, has a resolution of about 37 meters (120 feet) per pixel. The narrow-angle camera image below reveals features with a resolution of only 4 meters per pixel. With that clarity, house-size rocks are distinguishable.

Fully processed images will be available in the coming weeks, as will explanations of what these views have taught scientists about the geology, history, and evolution of Enceladus.

Enceladus
Courtesy NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.