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Emily LakdawallaAugust 8, 2008

Skeet Shooting Enceladus

On Monday, Cassini will fly close by Enceladus, in an encounter that is optimized for imaging. The spacecraft and cameras will be doing some amazing tricks to capture the highest-resolution-yet images of those active south polar vents. I've summarized everything, with a detailed encounter timeline, in a news story here. There are lots of other good online resources for flyby plans, including the JPL mission description (PDF format), the excellent "Looking Ahead" article written by Anne Verbiscer, and an Enceladus encounter blog being written by UVIS scientist Amanda Hendrix. Data will start arriving on the ground over my night on August 11-12, so I'll be very sure to look for the goods on Tuesday morning.

In the meantime, you might enjoy taking a look at the image data that Cassini has returned from Enceladus to date. I am revamping my Cassini image data pages to make them a bit more user-friendly; after spending a year or so working with the pages in the old format I've decided that I actually hate the format because it's too hard to find the images I want when I don't present every single photo in thumbnail format. Although the new-format Enceladus page looks like the raw image pages I'm hosting for the Phoenix robotic arm camera images, the Enceladus data page isn't raw data at all; it is showing you the actual, official, calibrated, high-quality versions of the images that have been archived for scientists' use. I hope this proves to be a useful resource! In my copious free time (hah!) I plan to get pages like this one up for Saturn's other moons.

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Emily Lakdawalla

Solar System Specialist for The Planetary Society
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