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Image: A Crescent Enceladus and its Water Plumes

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2012



Below a darkened Enceladus, a plume of water ice is backlit in this view of one of Saturn's most dramatic moons.

Dramatic plumes, both large and small, spray water ice from many locations along the moon's famed "tiger stripes" near the south pole of Enceladus. The tiger stripes are fissures that spray icy particles, water vapor and organic compounds.

The terrain seen here is on the leading hemisphere of Enceladus (313 miles, or 504 kilometers across). North is up. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Feb. 20, 2012. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 83,000 miles (134,000 kilometers) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 165 degrees. Image scale is 2,628 feet (801 meters) per pixel.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute. Larger image

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