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The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

Enceladus crescent mosaic

Filed under Enceladus, pretty pictures, Cassini, amateur image processing, Saturn's moons

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Enceladus crescent mosaic A five-footprint mosaic of an extremely thin crescent Enceladus taken on October 19, 2011.

NASA / JPL / SSI / Emily Lakdawalla

Original images: N1697706712_1 - N1697706900_1 - N1697707117_1 - N1697707333_1 - N1697707537_1

Processing these images required resizing them to account for Cassini's rapidly changing range to Enceladus in the several minutes that passed between each one, then aligning and blending them together. Crescent image mosaics are relatively easy to deal with because there are never more than two images overlapping in any one spot.

Original image data dated on or about October 19, 2011.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. For uses not allowed by that license, contact us to request publication permission from the copyright holder: Emily Lakdawalla


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David: 10/11/2012 11:45 CDT

One thing the large Enceladus image set - which forces you to scrutinize the terminator closely - brings out is how much visible surface relief there is. Of course, Enceladus is a very small moon with a very low gravity, so in a sense that's to be expected; but it's also a moon with an icy surface that must be continually reshaped, so in that sense it's surprising. Presumably all of these high-relief features are of relatively recent origin. I wonder how much change could be seen even over a single decade.

Emily: 10/12/2012 03:05 CDT

Yeah, that's cool, isn't it? Enceladus' craters are both flat and steep. Their shapes have been modified through a process called "viscous relaxation." Viscous relaxation is more effective on longer-wavelength topography (the overall topographic depression of the crater) than on shorter-wavelength topography (the steep scarps at the edges) so the crater floors bow upward while the rims stay relatively steep.

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