CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Enceladus "Rev 120" Flyby Raw Preview #4

Enceladus "Rev 120" Flyby Raw Preview #4
Avg Rating: 8.46/10

Full Size 1024x1024:
  This raw, unprocessed image of Enceladus was taken by Cassini on Nov. 2, 2009.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Nov. 2, 2009 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 930 nanometers.

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: November 2, 2009
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
mipsandbips (Nov 4, 2009 at 8:33 PM):
These raw images reveal a mysterious anomaly in these plumes of Enceladus.
If there is some chance that there is organic life in the plumes then the likelihood of the existence of life close to the jets, very close to the surface is also very good. The anomaly is in the speculation. Science has yet to encounter anything like this type of geological phenomenon so what we have learned so far is only "the tip of the iceberg" on what possibilites exist and in how we can study and observe them.
dholmes (Nov 4, 2009 at 5:59 AM):
As they say "X" marks the spot. Can't think of a better place to begin a high probability search for any type of life "out there" than Enceladus. Don't know why some people at NASA want to waste future resources on Jupiter's moon, Europa.
hank (Nov 2, 2009 at 10:54 PM):
That's part of what 'raw, unprocessed' looks like.
Noise, whether cosmic rays hitting the sensor or noise in transmission or something else. Note some are single pixels and some multiple; that suggests they're not star images, I think.
illexsquid (Nov 2, 2009 at 10:29 PM):
I am assuming those "stars" are cosmic ray strikes on the camera detector. In normal releases they get processed out, but in a quick, raw release like this little processing is done so that we the public get to see the image as quickly as possible.

Awesome image, with some of Enceladus in total darkness, some lit by Saturnshine, and a sliver of sun to show us how nearly backlit the little moon is. Tremendous details in the fountains, too; it looks like we're seeing eruptions from multiple sources.
stowaway (Nov 2, 2009 at 10:22 PM):
Reminds me of LCROSS
av8r (Nov 2, 2009 at 9:14 PM):
Why are there what appear to be stars in front of (or between Cassini and) Enceladus in this image?