Latest Enceladus Stories

2008-03-10 13:45:00

NASA's Cassini spacecraft will make an unprecedented "in your face" flyby of Saturn's moon Enceladus on Wed., March 12. The spacecraft, orchestrating its closest approach to date, will skirt along the edges of huge Old-Faithful-like geysers erupting from giant fractures on the south pole of Enceladus. Cassini will sample scientifically valuable water-ice, dust and gas in the plume. The source of the geysers is of great interest to scientists who think liquid water, perhaps even an ocean, may...

2008-02-22 14:12:36

An enormous plume of dust and water spurts violently into space from the south pole of Enceladus, Saturn's sixth-largest moon. This raging eruption has intrigued scientists ever since the Cassini spacecraft provided dramatic images of the phenomenon. Now, physicist Nikolai Brilliantov, at the University of Leicester, and colleagues in Germany, have revealed why the dust particles in the plume emerge more slowly than the water vapor escaping from the moon's icy crust.Enceladus orbits in...

2008-02-19 12:17:27

Gaps in the soup of high energy particles near the orbits of two of Saturn's tiny moons indicate that Saturn may be surrounded by undiscovered, near-invisible partial rings. A paper in the February issue of the journal Icarus suggests the larger Saturnian moons may not be the only ones contributing material to Saturn's ring system. A team of scientists has detected two peculiar breaks in the near-constant rain of high energy electrons that bombard Cassini when near Saturn. They made the...

2008-02-19 12:05:00

Despite the incredible diversity of Saturn's icy moons, theirs is a story of great interaction. Some of them are pock-marked, some seemingly dirty, others pristine, one spongy, one two-faced, some still spewing with activity and some seeming to be captured from the far reaches of the solar system. Yet many of them have a common thread -- black "stuff" coating their surfaces. "We are beginning to unravel the mysteries of these different and strange moons," said Rosaly Lopes, Cassini scientist...

2008-02-08 16:15:01

Cosmic sprinklers that spurt misty jets from cracks along Saturn's sixth largest moon could hint at a vast watery lake hidden beneath the icy shell of Enceladus. In 2005, NASA's Cassini spacecraft revealed giant geysers of ice grains and water vapor shooting from the south pole of Enceladus. But how the geysers formed and the source of the ice crystals had remained a mystery until now. New research, detailed in the Feb. 7 issue of the journal Nature, provides a clear view of the...

2008-02-08 00:05:00

Scientists on the Cassini mission have become out-of-this world "plumbers" as they try to piece together what's happening inside the "pipes" feeding the plumes of Saturn's moon Enceladus. Enceladus is jetting out giant geysers three times the size of the moon, and now scientists are beginning to understand how the ice grains are created and how they might have formed. Knowing the process of how the plume forms and the path the water-ice particles have to travel is giving them an insight into...

2008-02-06 07:25:00

One of Saturn's rings does housecleaning, soaking up material gushing from the fountains on Saturn's tiny ice moon Enceladus, according to new observations from the Cassini spacecraft. "Saturn's A-ring and Enceladus are separated by 100,000 kilometers (62,000 miles), yet there's a physical connection between the two," says William Farrell of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "Prior to Cassini, it was believed that the two bodies were separate and distinct entities, but...

2007-12-19 19:06:38

San Francisco -- Enceladus, the tiny satellite of Saturn, is colder than ice, but data gathered by the Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn and Titan has detected a hot spot that could mean there is life in the old moon after all. In fact, for researchers of the outer planets, Enceladus is so intellectually hot, it's smokin'. The heat being generated on the moon's south pole at a hot spot is enough to eject plumes of ice and vapor above Enceladus. These plumes, according to William B....

2007-12-14 18:20:00

Jupiter's moon Europa is just as far away as ever, but new research is bringing scientists closer to being able to explore its tantalizing ice-covered ocean and determine its potential for harboring life. "We've learned a lot about Europa in the past few years," says William B. McKinnon, professor of earth and planetary sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. "Before we were almost sure that there was an ocean, but now the scientific community has come to a consensus that there most...

2007-12-12 15:10:00

Somewhere deep below Saturn's cloud tops, the planet rotates at a constant speed. Determining this interior period of rotation has proven extremely complicated. Now, with new Cassini results, a team of European scientists have taken an important step forward. The results, published in Nature, are based on data from the Radio and Plasma Wave Science instrument on Cassini. When confronted with determining the length of a day on one of the gas giant planets, planetary scientists have a...

Latest Enceladus Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Saturn's moon Dione -- Dione is a moon of Saturn discovered by Giovanni Cassini in 1684. It is composed primarily of water ice, but as the densest of Saturn's moons (aside from Titan, whose density is increased by gravitational compression) it must have a considerable fraction of denser material like silicate rock in its interior. Though somewhat smaller, Dione is otherwise very similar to Rhea. They both have similar compositions, albedo features and varied terrain. Both have dissimilar...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Saturn's moon Enceladus -- Enceladus is a moon of Saturn discovered in 1789 by William Herschel. At least five different types of terrain have been identified on Enceladus. In addition to craters there are smooth plains and extensive linear cracks and ridges. At least some of the surface is relatively young, probably less than 100 million years. This means that Enceladus must have been active very recently with some sort of "water volcanism" or other process that renews the surface....

2004-10-19 04:45:41

The Planet Saturn -- in astronomy, 6th planet from the sun. Astronomical and Physical Characteristics of Saturn Saturn's orbit lies between those of Jupiter and Uranus; its mean distance from the sun is c.886 million mi (1.43 billion km), almost twice that of Jupiter, and its period of revolution is about 291/2 years. Saturn appears in the sky as a yellow, starlike object of the first magnitude. When viewed through a telescope, it is seen as a golden sphere, crossed by a series of...

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Word of the Day
  • Genre or still-life pictures, including all subjects of a trivial, coarse, or common kind: so called in contempt.
According to the OED, "the sense ‘a painting’ in English is probably due to the influence of lithograph n., photograph n., etc."