Cassini at Enceladus

enceladus2.jpgSaturn’s moon Enceladus is one of the most interesting places in the solar system.  It has geysers that spew out plumes of ice particles in great quantities.  Sort of like Old Faithful in Yellowstone.  That definitely makes for interesting photographs, and for interesting science too.

On Wednesday, March 13 at 3:06 PM EDT, Cassini is going to fly though one of those plumes.  Man, I knew that this fly-by was going to get close to Enceladus, but I didn’t realize how close!  Nancy Atkinson writes at Universe Today:

Earlier flybys by Cassini revealed a geyser-like plume of ice particles shooting up from Enceladus’ south pole region. This means there’s a water source on the moon, and of course, water on another body in our solar system is an intriguing mystery that we want to take a closer look at. And this look will be extremely close. At one point during the flyby, when Cassini is near the equator of Enceladus, the spacecraft will only be about 50 km from the moon’s surface.

If you don’t think that these kinds of missions are just amazing and worth every penny the taxpayers spend on them, then I contend that you are just too jaded!

And if you’re not too jaded, you’ll really enjoy this video (run time, about 12 minutes) on the fly-by/fly-through supplied by JPL.

Explore posts in the same categories: Science, Space

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