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Sunrise uncovers both old and new Enceladus in this image from Cassini.
The lit side of the moon faces Saturn toward the left in this view of the trailing hemisphere. Old craters still pockmark the northern hemisphere while more recent geologic activity has swept them away in the south. North is up in this image. Mountain ranges, or dorsae, undulate the moon's surface near the equator, in the lower left of the image.
From this high northern viewing angle, the south pole's fascinating "tiger stripe" area lies just out of view. Sulci, or furrows, in that area are the sources of icy plumes being studied by Cassini scientists (see PIA07800 and PIA09761). Also near the tiger stripes are rift segments that resemble the zigzag patterns seen on Earth of sea-floor spreading from upwelling magma. See PIA11138 for a comparison of the phenomena.
Like outstretched fingers, the Samarkand Sulci reach from the west toward the north pole, clearing their path of craters and slicing some in half.
This false-color mosaic combines narrow-angle camera images obtained through ultraviolet, green, and near-infrared camera filters. The images were acquired on Dec. 2, 2008 at a distance of approximately 124,000 kilometers (77,000 miles) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 116 degrees. Image scale is 742 meters (2,433 feet) per pixel.
The Cassini Equinox Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team consists of scientists from the US, England, France, and Germany. The imaging operations center and team lead (Dr. C. Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.