Friday, July 15, 2005

Highest Resolution images of Enceladus


The JPL Cassini site has this image on their front page. This is a wide-angle image from the UVIS occultation ride-along. I felt this deserves its own topic if only because this is the wide-angle image, imagine what the narrow angle image will look like.

This wide-angle image has a resolution of approximately 20 meters/pixel.

Update: the NAC view is now available. this image has a resolution of 2 m/pixel. You can clearly see several large boulders in a region of high tectonic deformation. The WAC image that was above can still be seen on the JPL Cassini Front Page.

10 Comments:

Blogger Bruce Moomaw said...

It's abundantly clear that they are going to HAVE to add some more close flybys of Enceladus during the extended mission -- four isn't enough. And they are also going to have to risk not using the high-gain antenna as a debris shield during at least one of them, so that they can get some non-smeared, image-motion-compensated photos at very close range.

7/16/2005 01:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Gsnorgathon said...

I think we'll just have to be patient, and hope that nothing untoward happens to Cassini in the meantime.

I wonder - has anyone proposed a camera system with disposable clear lens covers?

7/16/2005 05:16:00 AM  
Blogger Roby72 said...

I suspect that with the Cassinis fast travel near Saturn, images are not fully compensatable for the resulting large image motion. At Phoebe last year with much smaller speed, compensating was at its limits at 2000km distance. The only plus of Enceladus is its brigthness, and secondly images could be a little underexposed.

7/16/2005 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

The image was a ride along with a UVIS occultation, so UVIS was controlling the pointing of the spacecraft. During an occultation, UVIS is point at a star, rather than targetting a specific point on the surface. I imagine if ISS was prime during C/A, the smear would be less. But I am certainly happy with what we got, don't get me wrong.

7/16/2005 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger Roby72 said...

Only one picture of this UVIS ride shows Enceladus, the other only black space - why ? Has you suspect only one(two with WA) images that shows the surface ? And the black images shows altitudes equal or little smaller than Enceladus radi (210 km for W00009338.jpg) - I suspect that this is a real height, isnt'it Jason ?

7/16/2005 02:18:00 PM  
Blogger Roby72 said...

Furthermore the resolution is about 6-7 meters because of larger distance (545 km) and of binning 2x2 - these boulders must be really large objects ! The distance could be still a little larger, because it was an oblique view and the 545 km a theretical value in IMHO.

7/16/2005 02:27:00 PM  
Anonymous MiniTES said...

You know Jason, if we keep getting all these interesting hints that the Enceladan interior may still be liquid, we may start hearing about its astrobiological interest...

7/17/2005 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

roby72: I got the resolution from a different source...but you maybe right in this case.

minites: Remember, there are large regions that don't look like Europa, so I don't think we are looking at the same cause.

7/17/2005 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

there maybe a conflict between the "distances" mentioned on the JPL raw image page and reality since the JPL raw image page maybe based on pre-flyby predicts.

7/17/2005 02:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Jerry said...

At the velocities everything is moving, These images are awesome!

In April, Flight control said they were experiencing some 'jitter', possibly due to a problem with the reaction wheels.

http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/press-release-details.cfm?newsID=557

If this problem still exists, it would be amplified in these close-ups.

7/22/2005 07:47:00 AM  

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