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Back-in-Action Cassini Doesn’t Disappoint

Enceladus and Dione line up for the Cassini camera. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Here are a few raw images from the Cassini spacecraft’s most recent flyby of Enceladus. The probe seems to be in good health following several weeks in safe mode, after a bit flipped in the command and data subsystem computer. This prevented the spacecraft from registering and following instructions. But she appears to be humming along just fine now, and snapped this great picture of Enceladus and Dione yesterday (have to quote @lukedones on Twitter: “Dione going in the corner pocket!”) Cassini focused on the Enceladus during a close flyby on November 30, so see more below, including a wonderful shot of a veritable curtain of geyser “spray.”

A good look at the spray from the fissures on Enceladus. NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Enceladus, backdropped by Saturn's rings. Credit: NASA/JPL/ Space Science Institute.

Closeup of Enceladus. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.

An even closer closeup of Enceladus. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.

See more raw images at the Cassini website, or the CICLOPS imaging website.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • J. Major December 2, 2010, 2:33 PM

    I AM SO HAPPY to have Cassini BACK! *big grin*

  • Hlafordlaes December 2, 2010, 3:15 PM

    I am rendered inarticulate in awe of such beauty. Good show, Cassini-chaps!

  • Jon Hanford December 2, 2010, 3:17 PM

    Cassini also made a close approach to rarely imaged Hyperion in late November, coming within 75000 km. Its battered, crater-saturated surface belies a violent past: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/raw/casJPGFullS65/N00165148.jpg

  • Kdes December 2, 2010, 3:56 PM

    Wow. They’re all great pictures! I wish I could get that close and personal.

  • William928 December 2, 2010, 4:19 PM

    Wow again, thanks Cassini! The last picture makes me wonder what it would be like to stand on Enceladus’s surface. It almost makes me feel like I’m there. Keep ‘em coming Cassini.

  • Piotr December 2, 2010, 11:38 PM

    Good work Cassini. Glad everything back to normal.

  • nightfly December 3, 2010, 5:30 AM

    Ah, Their’s nothing like the smell of geysers on Enceladus in the morning.

  • neoguru December 3, 2010, 8:15 AM

    Cassini’s gotta be mankind’s greatest achievement to date. Luvit!

  • Tramman December 3, 2010, 9:22 AM

    The first shot shows just how BIG these geysers are, compared to the curvature of this little world. Wouldn’t it be an amazing sight if you were standing anywhere near them?

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