Recent Cassini images of Saturn's moon Enceladus backlit
by the sun show the fountain-like sources of the fine spray of
material that towers over the south polar region. The image
was taken looking more or less broadside at the "tiger stripe"
fractures observed in earlier Enceladus images. It shows discrete
plumes of a variety of apparent sizes above the limb of the moon.
The greatly enhanced and colorized image shows the enormous
extent of the fainter, larger-scale component of the plume.
Imaging scientists, as reported in the journal Science on March 10,
2006, believe that the jets are geysers erupting from pressurized
subsurface reservoirs of liquid water above 273 degrees Kelvin
(0 degrees Celsius).
This caption was updated on March 9, 2006.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European
Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages
the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The
Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and
assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space
Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit
http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at