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Cassini shows dichotomy of Saturn’s moon Enceladus

Enceladus is a world divided. Its north is covered with numerous craters and evidence of the many impacts the moon has suffered in its history. However, to the south we see a smoother body with wrinkles due to geologic activity.
Cassini shows dichotomy of Saturn’s moon Enceladus

Cassini spacecraft took this photo of the sixth-largest moon of Saturn at a distance of approximately 41,000 miles (66,000 kilometers) from Enceladus with its narrow-angle camera on Nov. 27, 2016. Image scale is 1,310 feet (398 meters) per pixel, Joinfo.com reports with reference to NASA.

This view looks toward the anti-Saturn hemisphere of Enceladus. North on Enceladus is up and rotated 4 degrees to the right.


Enceladus is mostly covered by fresh, clean ice, making it one of the most reflective bodies of the solar system.

Most solar system bodies lacking an atmosphere are heavily cratered like Enceladus’ (313 miles or 504 kilometers across) northern region. However, the geologic activity in the south, including the famous plume above the moon’s south pole, can erase craters and leave a younger, smoother-looking surface.

See also: Cassini Shows Saturn North Pole Close Up.

It should be recalled that Cassini has been touring the Saturn system since arriving there in 2004 for an up-close study of the planet, its rings and moons. The spacecraft will make 19 more dives past the rings while orbiting around Saturn. Each of Cassini’s orbits will last one week. The next pass by the rings’ outer edges is planned for Dec. 11.