CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Cassini's Brush with Enceladus

At a press briefing today, coincident with the Cassini Project Science Group (PSG) meeting in London, scientists discussed the unusual south polar terrains of Enceladus, and announced new evidence that the icy moon's tenuous atmosphere may be the result of venting from ground fractures close to the moon’s south pole.

Aug 30, 2005: Enceladus to Scale - Enceladus is only 505 kilometers (314 miles) across, small enough to fit within the length of the United Kingdom, as illustrated here.
Aug 30, 2005: Enceladus: North and South - The northern and southern hemispheres of Enceladus are seen in these polar stereographic maps, mosaicked from the best-available Cassini and Voyager clear-filter images.
Aug 30, 2005: Enceladus: Global Patterns of Fracture - Fractures on the surface of Enceladus record a long and complex history of tectonic activity.
Aug 30, 2005: Enceladus: The Plot Thickens - This graphic shows Cassini's path, or ground track, as it crossed over the surface of Enceladus near the time of closest approach during the flyby on July 14, 2005.
Aug 30, 2005: Water Vapor & Particles Over Enceladus - This plot shows results from Cassini’s Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) and Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA), obtained during the spacecraft’s close approach to Enceladus on July 14th, 2005.
Aug 30, 2005: Modeling “Warm” Ice on Enceladus - These three graphics represent possible models for mechanisms that could generate the water vapor and tiny ice particles detected by Cassini over the southern polar terrain on Enceladus.

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