CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Geyser Basin in 3D
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This graphic shows a 3-D model of 98 geysers whose source locations and tilts were found in a Cassini imaging survey of Enceladus' south polar terrain by the method of triangulation. While some jets are strongly tilted, it is clear the jets on average lie in four distinct "planes" that are normal to the surface at their source location.

Dotted vectors indicate five jets whose sources were determined from images acquired too closely in time to determine tilts accurately. Consequently their 3-D configuration has a large uncertainty associated with it.

Two geysers, indicated by crosses in PIA17188, have no tilt determinations at all and are not shown here.

A movie showing a 360-degree view of this model is also presented here.

The still graphic and the movie illustrate some of the findings reported in a paper by Porco, DiNino, and Nimmo, and published in the online version of the Astronomical Journal in July 2014:

A companion paper, by Nimmo et al. is available at:

The Cassini Solstice 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 Solstice Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI
Released: July 28, 2014 (PIA 17186)
Image/Caption Information
  Geyser Basin in 3D
PIA 17186

Avg Rating: 9.48/10

Animated Movie
Quicktime 6.8 MB


Geyser Basin in 3D
PIA 17186

Avg Rating: 7.91/10

Still Image 800x800:
PNG 308 KB

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