Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Prepare for your jaw to hit the floor when you see these pictures of Enceladus

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

21-11-2009 10:26 CST

Topics: Enceladus, pretty pictures, Cassini, amateur image processing, Saturn's moons, 3D

Wow, just wow. I didn't know what to expect from the second flyby of Saturn's geyser moon Enceladus in November, which happened yesterday. I knew the cameras were given control of spacecraft pointing during the closest part of the flyby, so that there should be some pretty cool photos of tiger stripes, but I have to confess I didn't expect anything tremendously different from the first high-res imaging flyby.

Well, I was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Cassini has sent back some of the most amazing images from the whole mission. I'm traveling now and not able to do much of my own image processing so I'm grateful to Gordan Ugarkovic for posting the following two stereo pairs of Cassini Enceladus images to They are both cross-eyed stereo: stare at the images, allow your eyes to cross so that the two images overlap in the center of your vision, then make your eyes focus on the overlapped pair, and it should (unless you are among the 10% of the population who are stereo blind) pop into 3D.

The first one is unimaginably amazing. I never, ever thought we would actually seenthe plumes where they issued from the vents. But with the dramatic side-lighting of polar autumn sunset, we can actually see them. Tremendous. This one's a keeper.

Enceladus' plumes in cross-eyed stereo

NASA / JPL / SSI / stereo comparison by Gordan Ugarkovic

Enceladus' plumes in cross-eyed stereo
Cassini swept past Enceladus' south pole for one last close look before winter darkness swallowed the enigmatic tiger stripe terrain and gathered these dramatic shots of plumes issuing from south polar vents. This is a crossed-eye stereo pair -- stare at the screen and cross your eyes until the two images overlap, then allow your eyes to focus on the overlapped pair to see it in 3D.

The other one shows the vents in really eye-popping 3D.

Tiger stripes near Enceladus' south pole

NASA / JPL-Caltech / SSI

Tiger stripes near Enceladus' south pole

For many more amazing photos, visit JPL's raw images website.

See other posts from November 2009


Or read more blog entries about: Enceladus, pretty pictures, Cassini, amateur image processing, Saturn's moons, 3D


Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

Planetary Defense

An asteroid or comet headed for Earth is the only large-scale natural disaster we can prevent. Working together to fund our Shoemaker NEO Grants for astronomers, we can help save the world.


Featured Images

LightSail 2 and Prox-1
Bill Nye at LightSail 2 pre-ship review
LightSail 2 pre-ship review team photo
Swirling maelstrom
More Images

Featured Video

Class 9: Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune

Watch Now

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join The Planetary Society

Let’s explore the cosmos together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!