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More images of Enceladus are released

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PASADENA, Calif., Feb. 23 (UPI) -- NASA says it has released new images of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus that were taken by the Cassini spacecraft in November.

Space agency scientists said those images reveal a forest of new jets spraying from prominent fractures crossing Enceladus' south polar region, yielding the most detailed temperature map to date of one fracture.

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NASA said the images from the imaging science subsystem and the composite infrared spectrometer teams also include the best 3D image ever obtained of a "tiger stripe" -- a fissure that sprays icy particles, water vapor and organic compounds. There are also views of regions not well-mapped previously on Enceladus, including a southern area with crudely circular tectonic patterns.

"Enceladus continues to astound," said Bob Pappalardo, Cassini project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "With each Cassini flyby, we learn more about its extreme activity and what makes this strange moon tick."

For Cassini's visible-light cameras, the Nov. 21 flyby about 1,000 miles from the moon's surface provided the last look at Enceladus' south polar surface before that region of the moon enters 15 years of darkness.

The images and additional information are available at http://www.nasa.gov/cassini and http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov.

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