Images from Enceladus!

Enceladus' ice geysers in action

The raw images from Cassini’s eighth flyby of Enceladus are in! And they don’t disappoint…the highlight of the set so far, in my opinion, is the image above showing the moon’s signature ice geysers erupting from fracture lines called “tiger stripes” surrounding the south pole. Highlighted by sunlight, the plumes follow the lines of the fractures across the terminator of Enceladus’ night side, their individual sources easily visible. Amazing!!! (Image was rotated 180ΒΊ from its original, and some digital interlacing was removed via Photoshop.)

Below are more images, some taken closer to the surface showing the moon’s incredibly rugged and tortured icy terrain. Cassini came within just under 1000 miles of the surface of Enceladus in this latest flyby.

Deep gashes in Enceladus
"Baghdad Sulcus", one of Enceladus' plume-producing furrows
Tortured terrain: new fractures cut old craters
Enceladus' jets feed the hazy E ring
10,000 miles from target: Enceladus and its secrets await further investigation

UPDATE: the below image (rotated 180ΒΊ) was just received…note the moon’s shadow being cast across the geyser plumes to the right. It just keeps getting better!!! Fan-tastic. πŸ™‚

Enceladus' southern geyser fields

Images: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

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6 Comments

  1. Gordan says:

    I think the last one you posted has got to be my favorite. 3 stripes happily venting with the moon’s limb casting a sharp shadow on the plumes. A foggy and somehow very earthly-looking image.

    Imagine seeing that in stereo with the other “eye” moved slightly to the “left/right”!

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    1. J. Major says:

      I know that one is awesome. Came in a couple hours after I posted the article. What great flyby results!!!

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  2. Lauri says:

    Completely spectacular!!! Excellent pictures for so long…and they just keep getting better! πŸ˜€

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