The US space agency NASA has shared another never seen before picture of the Saturn’s moon Enceladus taken by Cassini dropping into the planet on September 15. The NASA’s Cassini spacecraft was one of the most successful missions to Saturn and the achievements that the spacecraft accomplished in 13 years are astonishing.
The spacecraft managed to take captures some rare images of Saturn’s rings and the moon. Enceladus drifts around the planet, before the rings, which glow brightly when sunlight falls on them. There is a global ocean of liquid water that is covered by the icy exterior shell of Enceladus. To the right of the moon, the bright spot is a distant star.
This stunning image was taken by the narrow-angle camera in the Cassini spacecraft. The scientists revealed that Cassini was approximately 90,000 miles from Enceladus while shooting the image.
Cassini revealed that the moon comprises of all the evidences required for survival and has paved the way for future research and follow-up missions that can reveal the hidden mysteries of the moon. The scientists believed that if Cassini did not plunge into Saturn, then it would have crashed into Enceladus, releasing the Earth’s microbes in the moon’s environment and polluting it.
NASA has released some of the final images taken by Cassini that reveal the Ringed planet and its mysterious moons. But this particular image of Saturn’s Enceladus with the bright crescent limb and distant star has grabbed a lot of attention and is considered as one of the best images taken by Cassini.
Notably, the Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras that left Earth on October 15, 1997, were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. On June 30, 2004, Cassini entered into the Saturn system. The spacecraft spent the next 13 years observing the Ringed planet and its several moons.