A masterpiece of deep time and wrenching gravity, the tortured surface of Saturn's moon Enceladus and its fascinating ongoing geologic activity tell the story of the ancient and present struggles of one tiny world.
During its very close flyby of Enceladus on March 9, 2005, NASA's Cassini spacecraft took images of parts of the icy moon. This scene is an icy landscape that has been scored by tectonic forces. 3D glasses are necessary to view this image.
This high-resolution stereo anaglyph captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft of Saturn's moon Enceladus shows a region of craters softened by time and torn apart by tectonic stresses. 3D glasses are necessary to view this image.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft took images of the ropy, taffy-like topography of Saturn's moon Enceladus from many different angles as the spacecraft flew by on Feb. 17, 2005. 3D glasses are necessary to view this image.
The brightly reflective moon Enceladus appears before Saturn's rings while the larger moon Titan looms in the distance. Jets of water ice and vapor emanating from the south pole of Enceladus (hinting at subsurface sea rich in organics).
A crescent Enceladus appears with Saturn's rings in this view of the moon from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The famed jets of water ice emanating from the south polar region of the moon are faintly visible here.
Like a proud peacock displaying its tail, Enceladus shows off its beautiful plume to NASA's Cassini spacecraft's cameras. Enceladus (313 miles, or 504 kilometers across) is seen here illuminated by light reflected off Saturn.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft captures a crescent of Saturn's moon Enceladus. Lit terrain seen here is in the area between the leading hemisphere and Saturn-facing side of Enceladus (504 kilometers, or 313 miles across). North on Enceladus is up.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft captures this scene showing the bright crescent of Saturn's moon Enceladus at top right. The center of the image reveals plumes of water ice spew out from fractures known as 'tiger stripes' near the south pole of the moon.
Saturn's moon Enceladus reflects sunlight brightly while the planet and its rings fill the background in this view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. Enceladus is one of the most reflective bodies in the solar system.
This mosaic shows extraordinary details of tectonic deformation in the fractured south polar region of Saturn's moon Enceladus, where jets of water ice spray outward to form Saturn's E ring. The images were captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
The highly reflective moon Enceladus appears as a bright dot beyond a crescent Saturn in this image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. Enceladus is visible above the ringplane to the left of the center of the image.