CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Enceladus "Rev 121" Flyby Raw Preview #8
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Enceladus "Rev 121" Flyby Raw Preview #8
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  This raw, unprocessed image of Enceladus was taken by Cassini on Nov. 21, 2009.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Nov. 21, 2009. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 2,000 kilometers (1000 miles) from Enceladus and at a high Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle. Image scale is approximately 116 meters (381 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.

For more information about the Cassini Equinox Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: November 21, 2009
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
Red_dragon (Nov 29, 2009 at 1:17 PM):
Thanks!. Can't wait to see it.
carolyn (CICLOPS) (Nov 29, 2009 at 7:59 AM):
Red_dragon: Not angry at all! Just reminding you...the best is yet to come.
Red_dragon (Nov 29, 2009 at 4:53 AM):
Please, don't be angered for sending you the link; it was to show it to other members of Sector6 -and, of course, you're the scientists; you know where to point the cameras-

It will be a pleasure to see the your mosaic -the "official" one-. No doubt you'll impress us as have done so many times during these years.
carolyn (CICLOPS) (Nov 28, 2009 at 7:12 PM):
Red_dragon: First, I was the individual on the team who planned those images of the jets, so I am completely familiar with them. And second, we here at CICLOPS will make our own version of that mosaic with the *real* images.
Red_dragon (Nov 28, 2009 at 6:39 PM):
Thanks, Carolyn!. Now, I've the ideas much clear.

For many years -since the first time I saw it through a telescope- I was of Titan. You know, seeing that tiny star that accompanied Saturn and wondering and attempting to imagine what could exist below its orange haze.
Cassini arrived at Saturn and we not only know what exists below Titan's haze but also have a world that could have been imagined by a sci-fi writer and that surely has -perhaps living- surprises inside: Enceladus.
Two world so interesting and just one future's a pity.

As a side note, check out this impressive mosaic. Enceladus' machinery working at full power. What a sight:
NeKto (Nov 28, 2009 at 9:41 AM):
Yes! if you haven't read the Scientific American article READ it! very informative and very well writen!
these images just make my day.
carolyn (CICLOPS) (Nov 28, 2009 at 8:22 AM):
Red_dragon: You need to read the paper I wrote for Scientific American, December 2008 issue, on Enceladus. (It is on this page: ; look under 2008 for `The Restless World of Enceladus') Enceladus is being tidally flexed by Dione. That makes all the difference.
Red_dragon (Nov 28, 2009 at 3:27 AM):
High quality comments, keep them coming. As a side note, it's amazing how a body so small as Enceladus is so active while Tethys which is certainly more massive is dead, or at least very nearly so. Perhaps its low density compared with the relatively high density of Enceladus has something to tell?
myanhurkan (Nov 27, 2009 at 12:28 PM):
I belive that a massive robtic discovery type mission into deep space could bailout all nations on earth. we can orbit and land on europa enceluds along with uranus neptune including the landing of rovers throught many moons in the outer solar system. sincerly Anaka Hurakan
carolyn (CICLOPS) (Nov 25, 2009 at 9:10 AM):
Dragon: We've already accounted for the interior heat source (ie, from radioactivity arising from the rock in the interior), and it is woefully insufficient to explain the heat coming out of Enceladus. The default is tidal flexing, VERY likely enhanced by a sea or southern hemisphere ocean, plus stored heat left over from an even more intense heating episode in the past. Trying to figure out Enceladus is a big challenge!
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971 (Nov 24, 2009 at 11:44 PM):
HenryBrooks: My idea is that tidal heating is part of the energy source but because of Enc's rather high density for an icy satellite ( 1.6 kg/m ) there have to be unknown energy sources in its interior, I suppose.
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971 (Nov 24, 2009 at 11:31 PM):
HenryBrooks: Just my idea: Here similarities exist. ( Some older Enc images show more similarities than here to Europa. ) I noticed them,too. In this image there are no ice rafts, I suppose.
The energy source of the activity of Enceladus visible here is tidal heating and other kinds of heating being unknown today, no impact processes.
HenryBrooks (Nov 24, 2009 at 1:59 PM):
Oops, sorry for the typo, I meant "more of a clue than me!"
HenryBrooks (Nov 24, 2009 at 1:57 PM):
Is it just me or has anyone else noticed the similarities in this image to those of Europa? Ice rafts anyone? Tidal heating or impact residue? I look forward to hearing from those with more of clue than me. Very exciting image!
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971 (Nov 24, 2009 at 3:29 AM):
Here there's Enceladan activity everywhere. There are no impact craters of notable sizes. ( I couldn't examine the right part with poorer image quality. )

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