CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Tiger Stripes Up Close

This close-up view of Enceladus looks toward the moon's terminator (the transition from day to night) and shows a distinctive pattern of continuous, ridged, slightly curved and roughly parallel faults within the moon's southern polar latitudes. These surface features have been informally referred to by imaging scientists as "tiger stripes" due to their distinctly stripe-like appearance when viewed in false-color (see PIA06249).

Illumination of the scene is from the lower left. The image was obtained in visible light with the narrow angle camera on July 14, 2005, from a distance of about 20,720 kilometers (12,880 miles) from Enceladus and from a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 46 degrees. The image scale is 122 meters (400 feet) per pixel. The image has been contrast enhanced to aid visibility of surface features.

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.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit and the Cassini imaging team home page,

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: July 26, 2005 (PIA 06247)
Image/Caption Information
  Tiger Stripes Up Close
PIA 06247

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Alliance Member Comments
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971 (Oct 11, 2008 at 5:37 PM):
Just this one picture is enough to show us how unusual Enceladus is ! Fractures ( I think they are rift valles ) everywhere.
That Landscape is so different and so unearthy that it could be used without changes for a science-fiction movie serving as a very good slow approach scene of a manned fantasy spacecraft.
The 'tiger stripes' I suppose are constantly changing, the active ones are deeper and wider and the older ones are smaller and more shallow.
There could be a subsurface ocean. Just now nobody knows.