Astronomy Picture of the Day



Enceladus Close-Up

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zorg.ch
#70126 by @ 18.03.2005 00:00 - nach oben -
Enceladus Close-Up


Explanation:

The surface of Enceladus is as white as
fresh snow.

Still, an
impressive variety of terrain is revealed in
this
contrast enhanced
image.

At a resolution of about 30 meters per pixel, the close-up view
spans over 20 kilometers -
recorded during the touring
Cassini spacecraft's March
flyby of the icy Saturnian moon.

Enceladus is
known to be the most reflective moon in the
solar system, and the recent Cassini encounters have also
detected the
presence
of an atmosphere
, making Enceladus the
second moon of Saturn with such a
distinction.

In fact, Enceladus' fresh looking surface and
significant
atmosphere
both indicate that the tiny, 500 kilometer
diameter moon is active.

Researchers suspect that
ice volcanos or geysers
coat the surface
with fresh material and replenish the moon's atmosphere,
ultimately providing the icy particles that
compose Saturn's
tenuous E ring.




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