Carolyn PorcoCarolyn Porco

Cassini Imaging Team Leader


As you can imagine, we Cassini imaging scientists have been bee-busy trying to understand what our recent images from this week’s Enceladus flyby are telling us about the nature of the moon’s south polar surface and sub-surface environments.


I can now report that, so far, we have successfully located the surface sources of the jets for which Enceladus has become renowned.


source of jets on EnceladusThere is still much more to do to see if we can glean any information at all about the eruptive process itself from the geological characteristics we see on the surface.  But this, you have to admit, is a very good start!


Click here for our latest release.


Image left: Surface sources of some jets on Enceladus. Full image and caption


And click here for a similar image.


6 thoughts on “Jackpot!”

  1. What a beautiful place to work on.
    You all must hardly be able to sleep.
    Thanks for keeping us all updated on your findings.
    I appreciate being able to have participate to even a small degree of what must be a treasure trove for you.
    When can we place scientific instruments on the moon itself??
    Enceladus or Bust!

  2. Is one of the current problems that you do not know when
    the next jet might actually occur ?

    Obviously if you did you could time a flyby accordingly ?

  3. I haven’t heard any word on what the resolution in pictures like this. Are we talking about 30 meter resolution…better…worse? It seems to be pretty darn detailed, but I know it can’t be better than 10 meter resolution.

  4. Hiya all,
    I’m multitasking at the mo’. 180834AAUG08 Watching the Olympics, Micheal Johnson is a tiny bit impressed with Usain Bolt on the BBC, drinking coffee and trying to absorb any new info from the Enceladus flyby. This being day one of my holiday I’m in ‘so impress me mode’.
    Is Enceladus entirely made of ice? Have there been any signs of rock at all on the surface and if so will it have come from the interior or from what’s impacted on it! Does Enceladus have a rocky core?
    Many congratulations by the way….because your results have been so spectacular we expect so much more next time….it’s only fair!

  5. I have looked at the close-up images of the ice geyser sources. What amazes me is that, if there were a volcano on Io or at Mt. Saint Helens, one would expect to see some sort of a “circular blast pattern,” but there is no evidence of that on Enceladus. If you hadn’t put circles on the tiger stripes, these places look like any other part of the canyon. Is the reason for this the sheer power of these geysers? Their water may shoot so high above the moon it covers the entire moon, but the area around the source remains unaffected. This is a mystery for you folks to work on….

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