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Fractured Icy Shell | Space Wallpaper

Enceladus up close Cassini spacecraft space wallpaper
This stunning space wallpaper shows a patchwork network of frozen ridges and troughs that cover the face of Enceladus, Saturn’s most enigmatic of icy moons. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/G. Ugarković)

This stunning space wallpaper shows a patchwork network of frozen ridges and troughs that cover the face of Enceladus, Saturn’s most enigmatic of icy moons. Saturn’s imposing gravitational pull massages the moon’s icy shell, buckling it into ridges that tower over deep fractures. Enceladus is a moon bursting at the seams: along the southern hemisphere, plumes of ice particles mixed with water vapour, salts and organic material jet from fissures nicknamed ‘tiger stripes’. This face-on colour view of Enceladus was taken by the international Cassini spacecraft on Jan. 31, 2011, from a distance of 81,000 km, and processed by amateur astronomer Gordan Ugarković. The image was released April 22, 2013.

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