CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Cassini Views Enceladus in Stereo

The Cassini narrow angle camera took images of Enceladus' ropy, taffy-like topography from many different angles as it flew by on February 17, 2005. Images from different directions allow construction of stereo views such as this, which are helpful in interpreting the complex topography.

This view, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) across, shows several different kinds of ridge-and-trough topography, indicative of a variety of horizontal forces near the surface of this 504 kilometer (313 mile) diameter satellite.

Several different kinds of deformation are visible, and a small population of impact craters shows that this is some of the younger terrain on Enceladus. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the bottom.

Interestingly, the topographic relief is only about one kilometer, which is quite low for a small, low gravity satellite. However, this is consistent with other evidence that points to interior melting and resurfacing in Enceladus' history.

The images for this anaglyph were taken in visible light with the narrow angle camera, from distances ranging from 10,750 kilometers (6,680 miles, red image) to 24,861 kilometers (15,448 miles, blue image) from Enceladus and at Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angles from 32 to 27 degrees. Pixel scale in the red image is 60 meters (197 feet) per pixel; scale in the blue image is 150 meters (492 feet) per pixel.

A separate, non-stereo version of the scene, showing only the red image is included for comparison. The images have been contrast-enhanced to aid visibility.

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: February 18, 2005 (PIA 06189, 06190)
Image/Caption Information
  Cassini Views Enceladus in Stereo
PIA 06189

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Cassini Views Enceladus in Stereo
PIA 06190

Avg Rating: 9.14/10

Full Size 775x1020:
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