Tiger Stripes: The Icy Jets of Enceladus / 2013
Prints available. Acrylic painting and digital composite. "Tiger Stripes" takes Best of Show at Spacefest V and is featured in Ron Miller's celebrated book, "The Art of Space". From the South Pole of the frozen surface of Enceladus, enormous, effervescent jets of icy brine spew volumes of vapor and ice particles at high speeds. Some of the material is jettisoned into space where it is snared by Saturn's gravity wherein Saturn's hazy "E" ring is created. The organic-rich compounds that make up this salty spray marks Enceladus as potential habitable zone candidate.
Scientists theorize the jets originate deep below the moon's thick ice cap in a warm subsurface ocean and find their pressurized escape from vents along the steep "Tiger Stripe" trenches, nicknamed as such due to their distinct striping running in long veins across the moons ever-changing southern terrain.
I've been held spellbound by Enceladus since first viewing Cassini's stunning images of the moon's sunlit jets and desolate landscapes, which can be seen at http://ciclops.org (Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations). With considerate input from Dr. Carolyn Porco, and astronomer Phil Plait, I was able to better understand how to render the exciting dynamics taking place on Saturn's tiny companion. © Copyright 2013 Lucy West / All Rights Reserved. Contact Lucy West for information regarding image use.