CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Enceladus Rev 121 Flyby Raw Preview

These raw, unprocessed images were taken during Cassini's close flyby of Enceladus on Nov. 21, 2009. The main objectives of this flyby were to acquire the highest resolution images yet of the jets emanating from the moon's south pole, to image and thermally map the "tiger stripes" on the south polar terrain, and to obtain high resolution mosaics of the young terrain on the moon's leading hemisphere.

Nov 21, 2009: Enceladus "Rev 121" Flyby Raw Preview #1 - This raw, unprocessed image of Enceladus was taken by Cassini on Nov. 21, 2009.
Nov 21, 2009: Enceladus "Rev 121" Flyby Raw Preview #2 - This raw, unprocessed image of Enceladus was taken by Cassini on Nov. 20, 2009.
Nov 21, 2009: Enceladus "Rev 121" Flyby Raw Preview #3 - This raw, unprocessed image of Enceladus was taken by Cassini on Nov. 21, 2009.
Nov 21, 2009: Enceladus "Rev 121" Flyby Raw Preview #4 - This raw, unprocessed image of Enceladus was taken by Cassini on Nov. 21, 2009.
Nov 21, 2009: Enceladus "Rev 121" Flyby Raw Preview #5 - This raw, unprocessed image of Enceladus was taken by Cassini on Nov. 21, 2009.
Nov 21, 2009: Enceladus "Rev 121" Flyby Raw Preview #6 - This raw, unprocessed image of Enceladus was taken by Cassini on Nov. 21, 2009.
Nov 21, 2009: Enceladus "Rev 121" Flyby Raw Preview #7 - This raw, unprocessed image of Enceladus was taken by Cassini on Nov. 21, 2009.
Nov 21, 2009: Enceladus "Rev 121" Flyby Raw Preview #8 - This raw, unprocessed image of Enceladus was taken by Cassini on Nov. 21, 2009.
Nov 21, 2009: Enceladus "Rev 121" Flyby Raw Preview #9 - This raw, unprocessed image of Enceladus was taken by Cassini on Nov. 21, 2009.
Alliance Member Comments
Malacoda (Nov 27, 2009 at 3:46 AM):
I agree with you Carolyn about #1, completely awe inspiring! Can't help but imagine seeing that view first hand through a window.

Here come the goosebumps.
carolyn (CICLOPS) (Nov 26, 2009 at 7:07 AM):
ConeyIsland: I like the way you think! Unfortunately, it wouldn't really do any good to end the Cassini mission that way. It is not equipped to do what we need to do next on Enceladus, which is determine the way its interior is constructed and do sophisticated and precise chemical analyses of its jets, for astrobiological purposes.

So what we need is another mission back to Enceladus. Get the word out!
Coney Island (Nov 26, 2009 at 4:13 AM):
Fantastic pictures - the stuff of dreams! Although I find the science of the ice plumes unfathomably fascinating, I like image #9 the best - "walking in a winter wonderland".

So whilst I am day-dreaming, what happens when the Cassini mission is finally finished? Shoot for the moon! Imagine using the last few kilos of hydrazine to land the craft on the surface of Enceladus - somewhere near a plume. The gravity is almost none-existent. A few light touches on the thrusters. What would you have to lose? Let your imagination do the rest! :)
Troubled Tribble (Nov 24, 2009 at 5:48 PM):
EASY PEASY 'CELADUS SQUEEZY !!!
Absolutely the most amazing Astro-photography ever taken. I can't wait to see what Pluto looks like. Carolyn and team, you do make it look easy.
HenryBrooks (Nov 24, 2009 at 2:08 PM):
#5 is incredible. My imagination can't decide what to make of those crevasse-like features in the image. Is the crust loose and moving? Is Enceladus shrinking because of internal melting? Or is it expanding because of internal pressure? Carolyn and the team must be going nuts with the amount of data!
drewbot (Nov 23, 2009 at 2:39 AM):
Oh how unimaginably beautiful.

What a delight, to get to see such detail in the geyser plumes in 3 & 4. Imagine being on the surface in the predawn hours, looking in the sky where the jets first climb into the sunlight. Maybe they glitter or glow as ejected material sublimates at that point, forming instant clouds.
ultomatt (Nov 22, 2009 at 8:49 PM):
carolyn: A mission like this has to have images of sheer wonder, to go along with the mountain of science, with the goal of eliciting "wows". That's the icing on the science cake! Thanks for so many wows to go along with the serious science!

I didn't notice the plumes at first, then when I saw realized they were there, that was a wow moment.
carolyn (CICLOPS) (Nov 22, 2009 at 9:20 AM):
ultomatt: Very proud of #1. It's been my personal goal since day 1 on this mission to capture sights like this one. So when the opportunity arises, we go for it if at all possible.
ultomatt (Nov 22, 2009 at 0:57 AM):
Image #1 is truly an awesome shot. To have captured the limb of Saturn, and still have caught the plumes erupting from Enceladus' south pole in the same shot and exposure, is truly a masterwork! All the images are history in the making...marvelous work and congratulations to the imaging team for these magnificent shots! If only Cassini could just go on and on...such a huge success for planetary science, and especially the field of comparative planetology...Saturn is a master class in this field, with it's multitude of magnificent moons, not to mention the ever awe inspiring ring system.
stowaway (Nov 22, 2009 at 0:47 AM):
Just when I think it can't get much better. The Imaging Team really outdid themselves this time. Especially #3 & #4.
FrankAU (Nov 21, 2009 at 9:20 PM):
Given Enceladus is the solar systems Aladdin's Cave and, from what I can tell is of inestimable scientific interest _why_ would anyone need convincing?

The downside with data like this is that all the pro scientists are likely to disappear for years on end digesting it whilst the amateurs like me see rare crumbs. Oh but what crumbs!
astroboy70 (Nov 21, 2009 at 6:55 PM):
Picture #3 is amazing. Those jets rising into the sunlight from behind the terminator, and the ones we see rising right out of the Sulcus....wow.
carolyn (CICLOPS) (Nov 21, 2009 at 3:42 PM):
DEChengst: Yes, that would be nice! But, Cassini can't do the sophisticated kind of astrobiologically oriented evaluation that a follow-on mission could do, if we would only FLY IT!!
PiperPilot (Nov 21, 2009 at 2:51 PM):
Supercalifragilistic is the only word I can come up with to describe this flyby.

This batch of pictures further convinces me that Enceladus could be humankinds perfect jumping off point on it’s “Trek to the Stars.”

Great job imaging team!
PiperPilot (Nov 21, 2009 at 2:50 PM):
Supercalifragilistic is the only word I can come up with to describe this flyby.

This batch of pictures further convinces me that Enceladus could be humankinds perfect jumping off point on it’s “Trek to the Stars.”

Great job imaging team!
DEChengst (Nov 21, 2009 at 1:55 PM):
I think it would be awesome to have a flagship mission to Enceladus, but first I want the extended-extended mission te be approved by NASA HQ :)
Red_dragon (Nov 21, 2009 at 1:05 PM):
Impressive selection; numbers #1, #3, and #5 are the best ones in my opinion.

It's a pity we'll miss Enceladus' south pole soon when winter arrives there.
carolyn (CICLOPS) (Nov 21, 2009 at 12:31 PM):
DEChengst: Sorry...no bribes taken! But you can throw yourself into convincing NASA that the next US flagship mission should be to ENCELADUS!
DEChengst (Nov 21, 2009 at 12:04 PM):
Awesome flyby. Picture #5 looks just amazing to me.

Tip for those that want to get rid of the missing lines: You can load it up in Photoshop and use the "De-Interlace" filter. Makes for much nicer viewing :)

By the way, is there anyone on the team I can bribe to speed up the release of the big mosaic mentioned in the mission description PDF file ?

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