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Above Enceladus
Above Enceladus (click to enlarge)

Above Enceladus
Date: 1 Nov 1008

This image of Saturn's ice-spewing moon Enceladus was taken from about 1,700 km up as the robotic Cassini spacecraft zoomed by the fractured ice ball and is one of the closest pictures obtained of this moon.

Features the size of a bus are resolvable in this highly detailed image taken of Enceladus' active tiger stripe region. Very different from most other moons and planets, grooves and hills dot an alien moonscape devoid of craters.

Space pioneers might wonder where, on such a highly textured surface, a future probe might land in search of freshly deposited ice, subsurface seas or even indicators of life. Although appearing dark in the above contrast-enhanced image, the surface of Enceladus is covered with some of the brightest ice in the entire solar system, reflecting about 99 percent of the light it receives.

Last Update: 25 Mar 2011 (AMB)

Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, ISS, JPL, ESA, NASA

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Last Updated: 25 Mar 2011