CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Jet Blue

Cassini imaging scientists used views like this one to help them identify the source locations for individual jets spurting ice particles, water vapor and trace organic compounds from the surface of Enceladus.

Their study -- published in the Oct. 11, 2007 issue of the journal Nature -- identifies eight source locations, all on the prominent tiger stripe fractures, or sulci, in the moon's south polar region. Some of the sources occur in regions not yet observed by Cassini's Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS), and the researchers predict that future Cassini observations of those locations will find elevated temperatures.

This false-color view was created by combining three clear filter images taken at nearly the same time as PIA07759. This image product was then specially processed to enhance the individual jets that compose the plume. (PIA07759 was instead processed to reveal subtleties in the brightness of the overall plume that comprises the jets.) Some artifacts due to the processing are present in the image. The final product was colored as blue for dramatic effect.

The images were acquired with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Nov. 27, 2005 at a distance of approximately 148,000 kilometers (92,000 miles) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 161 degrees. Scale in the original images is about 880 meters (0.5 mile) per pixel. This view has been magnified by a factor of two from the original images.

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: October 10, 2007 (PIA 08386)
Image/Caption Information
  Jet Blue
PIA 08386

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Alliance Member Comments
Enceladusj (Dec 30, 2008 at 5:42 PM):
Fantastic pictures