Latest Enceladus Stories

2008-03-16 12:30:00

One of Saturn's moons may have been home to a body of water, according to scientists who reported their findings at the 39th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston.With a density similar to pure ice, researchers think that Tethys underwent tidal heating, followed by cooling which could have been responsible for forming the Ithaca Chasma.Erinna Chen and Francis Nimmo, from the University of California, Santa Cruz, proposed that it was Tethys' orbital interaction with Dione, another...

2008-03-13 12:55:00

NASA's Cassini spacecraft performed a daring flyby of Saturn's moon Enceladus on Wed., March 12, flying about 15 kilometers per second (32,000 mph) through icy water geyser-like jets. The spacecraft snatched up precious samples that might point to a water ocean or organics inside the little moon. Scientists believe the geysers could provide evidence that liquid water is trapped under the icy crust of Enceladus. The geysers emanate from fractures running along the moon's south pole, spewing...

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....

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
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.