More Hope for Life on Enceladus?

Researchers on the Cassini mission team have identified large salt grains in the plumes emanating from Saturn’s icy satellite Enceladus, making an even stronger case for the existence of a salty liquid ocean beneath the moon’s frozen surface. Advertisements

The Many Faces of Enceladus

A recently uploaded raw image from Cassini, this is a full-frontal view of 318-mile-wide Enceladus taken on November 30, 2010 during the spacecraft’s most recent flyby. Of particular note here is the moon’s heavily grooved and fractured surface, mostly water ice and rock, but strangely split into two sections of differing terrain – most noticeably…

Enceladus and the Rings

Here’s a surreal image of ice-covered Enceladus with Saturn’s rings in the background, as seen by Cassini on November 30, 2010 during its latest flyby. Amazing! The spacecraft was about 28,500 miles (45,827 km) away from Enceladus when this image was taken. I adjusted the levels a bit to bring out some detail in the…

Enceladus and the E Ring

This is really great…an out-of-the-box raw image from Cassini showing Enceladus jetting along inside the hazy, diffuse E-ring. The spacecraft was over 414,000 miles away from the 300-mile-wide moon when this was taken. As a bonus we get a nice scattering of background stars too! This is one of those images that would have been…

Images from Enceladus!

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…

Enceladus and Rhea

In another stately pas de deux as seen from the point of view of the Cassini spacecraft, moons Rhea and Enceladus slip past each other in their eternal travels around Saturn. This animation is made up of 20 raw images from Cassini, taken on November 15, level-adjusted and rotated 90º clockwise. Enceladus is about to…

Target: Enceladus

  Later today, Monday, November 2, the Cassini spacecraft will execute another close flyby of Saturn’s moon Enceladus and take some highly detailed images of the south polar region – the source of the little moon’s enigmatic jets. We should hopefully see some image data returned by the afternoon. 🙂 The image above is a…

Explaining Enceladus

This JPL video highlights Enceladus and explains some of the recent discoveries about this mysterious moon of Saturn. Enjoy! more about “Explaining Enceladus“, posted with vodpod

Enigmatic Enceladus

The tortured terrain of Enceladus (en-SELL-a-dus) comes into light in this image taken by Cassini last October. This is actually a false-color mosaic of 28 images, assembled by the imaging operations center in Boulder, CO. The bluish tints are used to highlight features on the moon’s surface and show different densities of surface material. I rotated…

Spacecraft Down: Cassini is Gone

It’s official: Cassini’s mission at Saturn is over. Today, at 6:31 a.m. EDT (10:31 UTC), Cassini entered the atmosphere of Saturn. A little over a minute later it sent its final transmission back to Earth before succumbing to the physical forces of entry. That signal, Cassini’s last piece of data, ended at 7:55 a.m. EDT…

It’s Time to Say Goodbye to Cassini

Well, the day has come. Today is the last full day that NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will exist, and in fact right now it is on its final path—a grand soaring arc that will send it down into the atmosphere of Saturn itself on the morning of Friday, Sept. 15. It will be the closest to the…

It’s Cassini’s Final Month.

Yes, it’s true. As of today, August 15, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has less than 31 days—one full month—left in operation and, sadly, its existence. On September 15, 2017, Cassini will end its mission with a controlled dive into Saturn’s atmosphere…a journey that it will not long survive. But up until the very end Cassini, which…