This map of the surface of Enceladus (504 kilometers, 313 miles across) illustrates the regions that will be imaged by Cassini during the spacecraft's first very close flyby of the moon on February 17, 2005. At closest approach, the spacecraft is expected to pass approximately 1,180 kilometers (733 miles) above the moon's surface.
The colored lines delineate the regions that will be imaged at differing resolutions.
The coverage at spatial resolution better than 200 meters (656 feet) per pixel primarily targets an area previously seen in Voyager images, but at lower resolution (around 1 kilometer or 0.6 miles per pixel). This high resolution coverage also includes areas southern latitudes that were not seen at all by Voyager. The primary purpose of this coverage is to provide detailed information about the nature of different terrain types, especially the smooth plains materials, cratered terrains and system of (evidently tectonic) curvilinear fractures.
The highest-resolution coverage (i.e., better than 70 meters or 230 feet per pixel) focuses on the detailed structure of prominent fractures in the smooth plains.
Coverage outlined in purple (i.e., resolution better than 1.5 kilometers or 0.9 miles per pixel) includes an area of Enceladus that was seen by Voyager only at very poor spatial resolution (about 6 kilometers or 3.7 miles per pixel). Cassini's resolution will be approximately four times better in this region.
The map was made from images obtained by both the Cassini and Voyager spacecraft. The Cassini images used here were acquired on January 15 and 16, 2005.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. 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.