Friday, December 3, 2010

Enceladus, Even Closer...

The image at right (click to enlarge), of Saturn's moon Enceladus, was taken a few days ago by Cassini on its closest approach yet (to within just 48 km).

If you've been following the fascinating discoveries Cassini has been making about Enceladus, then you know that this moon is one of the most fascinating and surprising objects in our solar system.  The jets visible so clearly in this photo are primarily composed of water – and the simple existence of that water is perhaps the most surprising finding of all the many surprises from Enceladus.

Cassini has now been making steady, amazing contributions to science for over five years.  It's still going strong, though getting closer and closer to its end of life.  The scientists are directing it now to missions that would have been deemed too risky earlier in its mission, such as this very close pass to Enceladus.

More Cassinis, please, NASA.

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