At Closest Approach

At Closest Approach Oct 31, 2008 Sorry for the delay on this one… its remarkably similar to the last close approach images from August. This image, taken from 1,691 kilometers, also shows the areas surrounding the plume sources to be boulder strewn which suggests that occasionally some large sized chunks of internal Enceladus are ejected from within.

This approach and the previous only weeks ago are to be combined as a double research header. This encounter was largely for hi-res imaging while the previous was to “sniff” out the chemical composition of those plumes. The next close encounter (like this) for Enceladus will not be for another year, so lets hope these two encounters give us a clearer picture of what is actually happening inside this small wonder.

Check out this massive composite of the encounter released by JPL:

Oct 31 Composite