CCTV.com - CNTV English - CCTV News

NASA's Cassini spacecraft sends back images of bright jets at Enceladus

12-02-2010 13:57 BJT

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- NASA's Cassini spacecraft has sent back shadowy images of brilliant jets at Saturn's moon Enceladus after a recent flyby mission, the Jet Propulsion Loboratory (JPL) said on its website on Wednesday.

Cassini successfully dipped near the surface of Enceladus on Nov. 30.

Though Cassini's closest approach took it to within about 48 kilometers (30 miles) of the moon's northern hemisphere, the spacecraft captured shadowy images of the tortured south polar terrain and the brilliant jets that spray out from it, JPL said.

Many of the raw images feature darkened terrain because winter has descended upon the southern hemisphere of Enceladus, but sunlight behind the moon backlights the jets of water vapor and icy particles, said JPL in Pasadena, Los Angeles.

In some images, the jets line up in rows, forming curtains of spray.

Among the observations Cassini made during this Enceladus flyby, the radio science subsystem collected gravity measurements to understand the moon's interior structure, and the fields and particles instruments sampled the charged particle environment around the moon, according to JPL.

Scientists are still working to analyze the data and images collected during the flybys, JPL said.

The Enceladus flyby was the 12th of Cassini's mission, with the spacecraft swooping down around 61 degrees north latitude. This encounter and its twin three weeks later at the same altitude and latitude, are the closest Cassini will come to the northern hemisphere surface of Enceladus during the extended Solstice mission.

Cassini's closest-ever approach to Enceladus occurred in October 2008, when the spacecraft dipped to an altitude of 25 kilometers, or 16 miles.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program