Enceladus, Afterburners Still Firing

by Nancy Atkinson on September 24, 2013

This view of Saturn's moon Enceladus and its prominent plumes was taken by the Cassini spacecraft on  April 2, 2013. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute.

This view of Saturn’s moon Enceladus and its prominent plumes was taken by the Cassini spacecraft on April 2, 2013. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute.

We can never get enough of seeing those intriguing jets and plumes from Saturn’s moon Enceladus, especially this great view from the Cassini spacecraft where the plumes are back-it from the Sun while the moon’s surface is lit with reflected light from Saturn. And as you can see, those jets are still firing. There are close to 100 geyser jets of varying sizes near Enceladus’s south pole spraying water vapor, icy particles, and organic compounds out into space. If you look closely, you’ll see the entire plume is as large as the moon itself.

Can we please send another spacecraft just to study this fascinating moon?


The image was taken in blue light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 2, 2013, when Cassini was about 517,000 miles (832,000 kilometers) from Enceladus.

See more details at the Cassini website.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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