July 30, 2008
Interesting geological details on Enceladus can be seen in modest-resolution Cassini spacecraft views like this one. At bottom is the wrinkled and generally crater-free terrain near the moon's south pole, which contains the actively venting "tiger stripe" fractures.
Multiple funnel-shaped tectonic patterns are visible above (north of) the polar region; in higher resolution Cassini images these are seen to be folded regions of ridges and troughs (see Enceladus Mosaic). North of these features are long, north-south trending fractures.
The view looks toward the southern hemisphere on the trailing side of Enceladus (504 kilometers, or 313 miles across).The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 26, 2008 at a distance of approximately 516,000 kilometers (320,000 miles) from Enceladus. Image scale is 3 kilometers (2 miles) per pixel.
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 mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute