Jet Setter

Enceladus proudly displays its plumage

The icy Enceladus shows off its southern geysers, stately hovering in orbit around Saturn in this raw image from the Cassini spacecraft, taken on Christmas day.

It is impressive to get such a clear view of the geysers with the low phase angle of the sunlight. Typically the geysers are only seen when the sun is shining through them from the opposite side of the moon.

Image: NASA/JPL/SSI

2 Comments

  1. Gordan says:

    “It is impressive to get such a clear view of the geysers with the low phase angle of the sunlight.”

    This is a very high phase shot, too. Cassini was in Saturn’s shadow (check out that wide-angle shot for context taken at the same time, W00062176.jpg) and what’s actually illuminating Enceladus is saturnshine. The plumes, however, are directly illuminated by the sun.

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    1. J. Major says:

      Ah well that explains it. I thought perhaps the jets were particularly energetic at the time and thus photographed well.

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