This Cassini photograph shows the southern polar region of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. This is the region of the moon that is known to be geologically active, spraying water ice into orbit around Saturn. It has deep folds and ridges, clearly visible at the top of the image. Cassini took this image on September 9, 2006 when it was approximately 66,000 kilometers (41,000 miles) from Enceladus.
The wrinkled border of Enceladus’ south polar region snakes across this view, separating fresher, younger terrain from more ancient, cratered provinces.
This is the region of Enceladus (505 kilometers, or 314 miles across) that is known to be presently geologically active. At right are clearly visible ridges and troughs thought to be caused by compressional stresses across the icy surface.
The image was taken in polarized green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Sept. 9, 2006 at a distance of approximately 66,000 kilometers (41,000 miles) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 104 degrees. Image scale is 396 meters (1,300 feet) 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.
Original Source: NASA/JPL/SSI News Release