New Enceladus Closeups Now Arriving

This is a small piece of an image taken by Cassini when the spacecraft was 2,600 kilometers (1,630 miles) above the surface. The image scale is approximately 20 meters (66 feet) per pixel.
Alan MacRobert
For a few seconds on Monday (Aug. 11, 2008) the diehard Cassini spacecraft skimmed only 50 kilometers (30 miles) above the surface of Saturn's little moon Enceladus, which leaped to the forefront of solar-system studies when Cassini discovered active ice geysers spraying from it in 2005. The data are streaming back, and NASA is posting the preliminary raw images.

"Cassini focused its cameras and other remote sensing instruments on Enceladus with an emphasis on the moon's south pole" says a NASA press release, "where parallel stripes or fissures dubbed 'tiger stripes' line the region. That area is of particular interest because geysers of water-ice and vapor jet out of the fissures and supply material to Saturn's E ring."

Check the NASA Cassini site for the latest. And see imaging team leader Carolyn Porco's blog post.

"Two more Enceladus flybys are planned for October," notes the NASA release. "The first of those will cut Monday's flyby distance in half and bring the spacecraft to a remarkable 25 kilometers (16 miles) from the surface." A resolution of 3.7 meters per pixel should be achieved.

3 thoughts on “New Enceladus Closeups Now Arriving

  1. Daniel

    Six…teen…miles. From one of Saturns moons. Wow. After seeing the photo zccompanying this article, I cannot wait to see what the results of that flyby will show!

  2. Nathaniel Sailor

    My father is head of IEEE Fort Wayne and we had a 100 year centanial on thursday 8/14/08 and I saw that image. My dad invited a lady who worked on the Cassini project.

  3. Nathaniel Sailor

    My father is head of IEEE Fort Wayne and we had a 100 year centanial on thursday 8/14/08 and I saw that image. My dad invited a lady who worked on the Cassini project.

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