CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Enceladus' Jets
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The most prominent jets of vapor and icy particles emerging from the south polar terrain of Saturn's moon Enceladus are shown here in graphical form in a movie clip of a "rotating" Enceladus.

A mosaic constructed of images of Enceladus' southern hemisphere (see PIA 11126) from NASA's Cassini spacecraft imaging science sub-system was projected onto a computer model of the moon to which vectors indicating the direction of the jets were added.

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.

For more information about the Cassini Equinox Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: December 15, 2008 (PIA 11136)
Image/Caption Information
  Enceladus' Jets
PIA 11136

Avg Rating: 8.53/10

Flash 54.0 MB
Quicktime 41.6 MB
MP4 movie 15.2 MB

Alliance Member Comments
thetonster (Mar 8, 2009 at 6:06 PM):
Quickly now, before the Mars-faceites see it; there’s a face in southern Enceladus, too. Note the most-tilted, Norternmost spike as it rotates past center; a little below it, a rather morose face seems to be embedded in the ripples. We know it is a chance collection of Ice ridges and grooves, of course; but sure as shootin’ the von Däniken followers will find this one too: and who knows what Alien Race they’ll invoke to explain it?
On another Cassini target, I’d like it if our fearless imaging team would take more pictures of Hyperion; not necessarily in a zoom-by, but merely to verify an assertion made a few years ago in the literature, that Hyperion’s rotation is chaotic. Does that outsize sponge rotate, or does it trip and stumble as it orbits?
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971 (Dec 16, 2008 at 9:49 PM):
That's a nice and very realistic animation.