Enceladus is Saturn’s sixth largest moon. Though it was discovered in 1789 by William Herschel little was known about it until the two Voyager spacecrafts passed nearby in the 1980’s. In 2005 the Cassini spacecraft conducted multiple close flybys of Enceladus, and was able to reveal its environment and surface in greater detail. Cassini revealed water rich plumes that vent from the south pole.
Enceladus is named after the giant Enceladus of Greek mythology, and was suggested by William Herschel’s son John in 1847. Enceladus, like the other giants, was an offspring of Gaia (Earth) and Uranus (Sky). He was the traditional opponent of Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, and mathematics. He fought Athena during the Gigantomachy, the war between the giants and the gods.
This desk sculpture pays tribute to this moon and the mythical figure after which it is named.