Saturn's moons

A masterpiece of deep time and wrenching gravity, the tortured surface of Saturn's moon Enceladus and its fascinating ongoing geologic activity tell the story of the ancient and present struggles of one tiny world.

Enceladus

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Hemispheric color differences on Saturn's moon Rhea

Rhea

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Saturn's moon Titan

Titan

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Saturn's moon Dione, Epimetheus and Prometheus, near the planet's rings

Dione

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The structure called Odysseus on Saturn's moon Tethys

Tethys

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Mission News

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Icy Moons through Cassini's Eyes
03.28.12
 
Saturn's moon Enceladus This raw image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft was taken on March 27, 2012. Image credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute › Full image and caption

Saturn's moon Janus This raw image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft was taken on March 27, 2012. The camera was pointing toward Saturn's moon Janus. Image credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
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Saturn's moon Dione This raw image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft was taken on March 28, 2012. The camera was pointing toward Saturn's moon Dione at approximately 27,668 miles (44,528 kilometers) away. Image credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
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These raw, unprocessed images of Saturn's moons Enceladus, Janus and Dione were taken on March 27 and 28, 2012, by NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

Cassini passed Enceladus first on March 27, coming within about 46 miles (74 kilometers) of the moon's surface. The encounter was primarily designed for Cassini's ion and neutral mass spectrometer, which "tasted" the composition of Enceladus' south polar plume. Other instruments, including the Cassini plasma spectrometer and composite infrared spectrometer, also took measurements.

Before the closest approach of this encounter, Cassini's cameras imaged the plume, which is comprised of jets of water ice and vapor, and organic compounds emanating from the south polar region. Later, the cameras captured a nine-frame mosaic of the surface of the moon's leading hemisphere as the spacecraft left the moon.

After the Enceladus encounter, Cassini passed the small moon Janus with a closest approach distance of 27,000 miles (44,000 kilometers). The planet was in the background in some of these views.

Early on March 28, the spacecraft flew by Dione at a distance of 27,000 miles (44,000 kilometers) and collected, among other observations, a nine-frame mosaic depicting the side of the moon that faces away from Saturn in its orbit.

All of Cassini's raw images can be seen at http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/photos/raw/ .

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena manages the mission for the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations team is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. JPL is a division of Caltech.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://www.nasa.gov/cassini and http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov .


› Enceladus' image gallery
› Dione's image gallery


 
 
Media contact:
Jia-Rui C. Cook 818-354-0850
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
jia-rui.c.cook@jpl.nasa.gov

2012-091