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Enceladus - Saturn's Moons Slideshow

Saturn's Moon Enceladus

This group of images shows Saturn's moon Enceladus. The center false-color image of the entire moon shows lines and scars across the entire moon. These features may be caused by changing surface compositions or a variety of ice crystal sizes. Either possibility can indicate different formation mechanisms or different ages.

The image on the left shows region of "smooth plains" terrain on the moon. The entire moon is about 500 kilometers across and this image shows a region about 70 kilometers wide. The image shows a variety of tectonic features that are evidence of an active geologic history. At the top of the image is a fresh-looking crevasse system with individual fractures more than a kilometer wide. The crevasse system cross-cuts a complex system of older faults.

The right image of Enceladus shows a 60-kilometer region different kinds of ridge-and-trough topography. This type of surface could be caused by a variety of horizontal forces near the surface. All of the evidence seen indicates a history of interior melting and surface freezing for the moon.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

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