Porco, C. (2008). "Enceladus 2008: Cassini Flies Low" Eos Trans. AGU, 89(53) Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract P13D-01 INVITED.


Abstract
Though a small world, Enceladus has become a major focus of the Cassini mission because of its extraordinary present-day geologic activity, the anomalous heat and carbon-bearing substances emanating from its 'tiger stripe' fractures, and the likelihood of organic-containing liquid water within. Cassini's 2-year Equinox Mission extension, which began on July 1, 2008, calls for continued exploration with several more close Enceladus encounters; four extremely close flybys have occurred in 2008 alone. The latter have seen closest approach altitudes dipping as low as 25 km above the equatorial region and allowing deep passages through its vapor/particle plume for in-situ sampling and very high resolution imaging of its fractured southern polar cap.

This presentation will offer an overview of the flyby geometries and scientific opportunities presented during these 2008 encounters with Enceladus, previewing the surface reconnaissance imaging obtained by the Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS), and the most significant results obtained by the other Cassini instruments.