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A tale of A Thousand and One Nights: Charting the icy volcano moon Enceladus



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A tale of A Thousand and One Nights: Charting the icy volcano moon Enceladus
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The DLR Institute of Planetary Research (DLR-Institut für Planetenforschung) in Berlin-Adlershof has made an atlas of Saturn’s moon Enceladus containing 15 image maps with scale 1:500 000.

The illustration shows the map of the moon’s south pole in stereographic projection with the designation “Damascus Sulcus”. The naming of individual landforms such as plains, grooves, mountain ridges, or impact craters, took place in consultation with the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and is based on the “One Thousand and One Nights” collection of oriental fairy tales – thus, one can find landscapes such as the Cairo Sulcus (“Cairo Groove”) on Enceladus.

So-called “cryovolcanoes” are active in Enceladus’ south polar region, spewing vapour fountains hundreds of kilometres up into space, where the refrozen ice particles are finally trapped by Saturn’s outer rings and from then on circle the planet.

Using image data processing techniques and geometric calculations, a so-called global “controlled mosaic” was created this way. It is based on 377 close-up images of Saturn’s moon Enceladus from 2005, as well as low-resolution images from Cassini and older images from the Voyager mission of 1981. Most images were recorded using the Imaging Science Subsystem on board the Cassini Saturn probe. The image maps are based on the image mosaic. The complete set of maps can be consulted on the CICLOPS (Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Observations) web portal of the Cassini ISS team: http://ciclops.org/maps

Bild: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute/DLR.
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