|October 24, 2008||Permalink|
Saturn's tiny, icy moon Enceladus has recently been visited by NASA's Cassini orbiter on several very close approaches - once coming within a mere 25 kilometers (15 miles) of the surface. Scientists are learning a great deal about this curious little moon. Only about 500 kilometers wide (310 miles), it is very active, emitting internal heat, churning its surface, and - through cryovolcanism - ejecting masses of microscopic ice particles into Saturnian orbit. Cassini has been orbiting Saturn for over 4 years now, and has provided some amazing views of tiny Enceladus, some collected here. Another close flyby is scheduled for Halloween, October 31st. (26 photos total)
Ring shadows line the face of distant Saturn, providing a backdrop for the brilliant, white sphere of Enceladus. This image looks toward the leading side of Enceladus. North is up. The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 28, 2007. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 291,000 kilometers (181,000 miles) from Enceladus. Image scale is 2 kilometers (1 mile) per pixel. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)
To see the entire entry, with all photographs, click here.
188 comments so far...