CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Transition on Enceladus

This stereo anaglyph of Enceladus shows an area that has undergone a very intriguing - and in places puzzling - sequence of events. The craters here are subdued, as seen elsewhere on Enceladus, and most (but not all) are older than the fractures. Fracturing has occurred at a wide variety of scales, from the wide rift running through the center of the image to much narrower sets of shorter fractures that cross-cut the craters (and each other) to the left.

The anaglyph has been rotated so that north on Enceladus is up.

This region is a transition from cratered to wrinkled terrain. Westward (left) of the central, wide rift which divides the two regions are relatively parallel grooves and ridges that are reminiscent of terrain on Jupiter's large moon Ganymede. Very few craters are seen in this area. Eastward (right) of the large rift, the terrain becomes more cratered, although the craters are quite degraded (meaning soft and shallow in appearance).

A prominent fracture runs north-south to the center of the image, then turns sharply to the southwest, cutting across both cratered terrain, the large rift, and the grooved terrain. This behavior signifies that it is one of the youngest features in this image.

The images for this anaglyph were taken in visible light with the narrow angle camera, from distances ranging from about 25,700 kilometers (16,000 miles, red-colored image) to 14,000 kilometers (8,800 miles, blue-colored image) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle ranging from 46 to 44 degrees. Pixel scale in the red image was 150 meters (490 feet) per pixel; scale in the blue image was 85 meters (280 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: March 24, 2005 (PIA 06214, 06215)
Image/Caption Information
  Transition on Enceladus
PIA 06214

Avg Rating: 7/10

Full Size 1037x767:
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Transition on Enceladus
PIA 06215

Avg Rating: 10/10

Full Size 1024x1024:
PNG 674 KB