CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Enceladus Rev 91 Flyby - Skeet Shoot #8

This Cassini image was the 8th 'skeet shoot' narrow angle image captured during the October 31, 2008 flyby of Enceladus. The source region for jets II and III (see PIA 08385) has been identified.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on October 31, 2008 at a distance of approximately 5568 kilometers (3480 miles) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 75 degrees. Image scale is 32 meters (105 feet) per pixel.

The Cassini Equinox Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. 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 Equinox Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: April 2, 2009 (PIA 11125)
Image/Caption Information
  Enceladus Rev 91 Flyby - Skeet Shoot #8
PIA 11125

Avg Rating: 9.15/10

Full Size 1020x1020:
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Enceladus Rev 91 Flyby - Skeet Shoot #8
PIA 11125

Avg Rating: 9.47/10

Full Size 1020x1020:
PNG 744 KB

Alliance Member Comments
Enceladusj (Dec 30, 2008 at 6:00 PM):
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971 has such interesting and intelligent things to say. I was looking at the image JPEG 894KB and there is a white thing on the shore of the main "tiger stripe" (sulci) right where the main sulci come to a fork in the road (or I should say "fork in the sulci.") It looks kind of mysterious. Did anybody else notice it?
Red_dragon (Nov 28, 2008 at 10:39 AM):
Sorry, I forgot this: one way to confirm that would be measurements of Enceladus' gravity field in order to look for a subsurface ocean as is been doing for Titan (flybys T11, T22, T33, T38, and T45).
Red_dragon (Nov 28, 2008 at 10:35 AM):
Also read the Scientific American article (the online version) and totally agree with NeKto.

Check out (if you haven't done it):

If it's confirmed, there's another target for astrobiology with level 1 priority.
NeKto (Nov 26, 2008 at 9:33 AM):
i just read the Scientific American article. i can enthusiasticly recomend it. a very good presentation of what is known and is not known about the enigmatic little moon. and a good presentation on what the energy source might be and why some hypothesis have been eliminated. sometimes the best moments in science are when a great big question mark is uncovered. i think this is one of those moments. Great article Carolyn. thank you. (there is even a small photo of Carolyn Porco with a blue eyed friend.)
carolyn (CICLOPS) (Nov 8, 2008 at 9:51 AM):
Everyone: I have recently written an article in Scientific American on Enceladus, where I draw together the ideas and information we currently have about how Enceladus' interior may be constructed. It is in the December issue, which should be out on the streets any day now. Let me know what you think!
Red_dragon (Nov 8, 2008 at 4:22 AM):
Simply put, SUPERB. This is my favourite skeet-shot of all those you've released.
It's a pity there's nothing in the bottom of the stripes -or at least within Cassini's resolution-; I expected to see there (most likely dark) vents that would be the source of the plumes. Thus, perhaps, those vents are very small and numerous -just a few meters-.
Anyway, great job!. Now to wait to see what reveals analysis of data collected by Cassini.
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971 (Nov 5, 2008 at 2:59 PM):
This time the IMAGES with high and very high resolution ( official ones and raw ones ) returned of a Enceladus flyby were greater than from any previous close Enc flyby - but all the other close flybys had also great Enc pictures. When I made a search for the latest Hi-Res Enc Images on the Cassini Mission Main Page ( ) some hours ago, I found over 200 of them ! But the Image 'Boulder-Strewn Surface NAC View' ( many older ) is very remarkable and a new look, too.

These Hi-Res Images of Enc with its icy, alien surface were GREAT !!!
THAT is exploring new territories ! ( new worlds ! )

Now I think we know too less of the interior of Enc to explain exactly why it has got this surface. I think the crust ( of course icy ) is thin in the south ( roughly 2 km to 250 meters ). Under the crust there is ( probably ) a subsurface ocean of liquid H20 being roughly 273 to 277 K. How deep is this ocean ? I have no idea. Is it global or local ? I just don`t know.
The surface in the south with its 'tiger stripes' ( 'sulci" ) lets me think of the sulci being rather similar to Earth's rift zones but on Enc there are far more ones than on Earth. And I also think that on Enc the activities and the locations of those sulci are shifting very rapidly compared to Earth. Of course the south polar region is geologically very young.

Then I need this subsurface ocean for my theory because I suppose that the outer mantle of Enceladus is this ocean that has got very many convection cells that are driving all the active 'sulci' . So there are plates on Enc and they are moving like at plate tectonics ( more or less ). Often we're seeing compressed ice terrain at the areas adjacent to the most active 'sulci' - that is something like Enceladan mountain formation . perhaps there is happening subduction because the surface mustn't increase in area.
The surface is 95 to 99 percent pure H20 ice. It's very bright. Some few patterns of Enceladan activity remind me a bit of common features at Earth's glaciers.

The inner mantle could be a mixture of ice and rock or water ( ?? ) , ice and rock. The core could be rocky. I think the core is only rock, with no water and no ice. Because the interior of Enc is far hotter than it 'should' be, I believe this moon to be differentiated ( crust, mantle, core ) completely. I think that in the south the crust is thinnest below the large ( active ) 'sulci'. There water or water and ice mixed is penetrating the crust through cracks generating this moon's famous geysers.

Today we have no temperature values at all of Enc's Interior making it even more difficult for me to think how its interior is like - especially how much water there is and if there's life in the upper mantle.

But this is all only guessing. Now we know very few about the interior of Enc. Its density is now believed to be 1.6 g/cm3.

For A New Saturn mission there is needed an unmanned lander ( at least ) for Enceladus. ( of Saturn's moons ) That one shall be like the ( today neither finished nor launched ) Europa orbiter ( lander ) landing on Europa and then melting thru the Europan ice crust and then if there is water it shall continue as a small submarine with a chemical laboratory. Of course it has to transmit its finding to Earth when diving in Europa. Or a Enceladus Rover that could drive/climb around and follow the warmth by its temperature sensors. Then it shall melt thru the thinnest part of the southern Enc crust. If there were water pockets it would find them.

That is now just dreaming.

I wrote a lot but now it's finished.

The activity of Enc compared to Mimas is a mistery.
And Io's activity at Jupiter is also partly misterious because it's explained not completely by tidal heating.

All the latest images of the 2008 Halloween Enc flyby were very interesting !