Astronomy Photo of the Day

February 4th, 2013

 

This looks like a computer rendering of a moon to me, but this is in fact a real image of a real moon. This image of Enceladus, which is one of Saturn’s moons and the most reflective body in our solar system, was captured by Cassini back in 2010, when it was making its 11th fly-by of this interesting moon.

 

Here you can see Enceladus’ cryvolcano plumes, which spit out mainly water ice, with bits of other materials. Sometimes, the material can be flung many kilometers into the surrounding space. It’s because of this that Enceladus was long thought to be the primary source behind Saturn’s E-ring.

 

Also pictured here is Titan, the largest of Saturn’s moons (and the second largest in our solar system overall). It can be seen just beyond Enceladus in the background, as the sun is situated behind Titan, illuminating everything between Cassini and Enceladus.

 

– Jaime

 

For more information on Enceladus:

http://tinyurl.com/enceladus-fqtq-fb

Is there life on Enceladus?

http://tinyurl.com/lifeonenceladus-fqtq-fb

Larger Version:

http://spaceplasma.tumblr.com/post/41385815607/on-may-18-2010-as-cassini-approached-for-its

Image Credit: NASA / JPL / SSI / Thomas Romer / Gordan Ugarkovic


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