Sunday, November 6, 2011

NASA's Cassini to Radar Map Enceladus

NASA's Cassini Saturn orbiter is set acquire the first detailed radar images of Saturn's moon Enceladus during a flyby on 6 November. These will be the first high-resolution radar observations made of an icy moon other than Titan. The results will provide new information about the surface of Enceladus and enable researchers to compare its geological features as seen by radar with those of Titan.

The spacecraft will fly past Enceladus at a distance of about 300 miles (500 kilometers) at its closest point. During the encounter, Cassini's synthetic aperture radar will sweep across a long, narrow swath of the surface just north of the moon's south pole. Cassini will use other radar techniques to map much more of the surface of Enceladus at lower resolutions and determine some of the surface's physical properties as the spacecraft approaches and then speeds away from the icy body.

NASA's Cassini Makes a New Pass at Enceladus - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory:

Image: NASA