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Images: Plumes on Saturn's moon

The Cassini orbiter cameras capture images from the surface of Enceladus.
By Bill Detwiler, Contributor
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1 of 3 Bill Detwiler/ZDNET

Cassini shots of Enceladus

Recent images from the Cassini orbiter and its and its two onboard cameras show Saturn's moon Enceladus. The images, backlit by the sun, show the fountain-like sources of the fine spray of material that towers over the south polar region.

This image was taken looking more or less broadside at the "tiger stripe" fractures observed in earlier Enceladus images. It shows discrete plumes of a variety of apparent sizes above the limb of the moon.

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2 of 3 Bill Detwiler/ZDNET

Enceladus

Enceladus is a target of intense interest to Cassini mission scientists. Its wrinkled and frozen crescent is seen here with Saturn's rings. The planet's dark shadow bisects the ringscape.

The illuminated terrain seen here is on the moon's trailing hemisphere. The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini narrow-angle camera on Oct. 13, 2005 at a distance of approximately 1.2 million kilometers (700,000 miles) from Enceladus.

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3 of 3 Bill Detwiler/ZDNET

Tiger stripes

This image was taken looking more or less broadside at the "tiger stripe" fractures observed in earlier Enceladus images.

The greatly enhanced and colorized image shows the enormous extent of the fainter, larger-scale component of the plume.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov.

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