Latest Enceladus Stories

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...

2007-10-19 11:55:00

The first steps of the next great phase of European space science have been taken! At its meeting held on 17-18 October 2007 in Paris, ESA's Space Science Advisory Committee (SSAC) selected the new candidates for possible future scientific missions. "It has been an arduous process both inside ESA and in the community to get these winning groups into what I suppose can be said to be the quarterfinals of one of the ultimate competitions in world space science," said ESA's Director of Science,...

2007-10-11 21:36:12

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of its launch from Cape Canaveral, the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn is once again at the center of scientific attention. Its latest discoveries about the ringed planet are a leading topic of conversation among the nearly 1,500 scientists gathered this week at a major astronomy conference in Orlando, Fla. Cassini rode into space Oct. 15, 1997, atop a U.S. Air Force Titan IVB. Its mission: to orbit and study the Saturnian system for four years and to put...

2007-10-10 17:40:00

A recent analysis of images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft provides conclusive evidence that the jets of fine, icy particles spraying from Saturn's moon Enceladus originate from the hottest spots on the moon's "tiger stripe" fractures that straddle the moon's south polar region. Members of Cassini's imaging team used two years' worth of pictures of the geologically active moon to locate the sources of the most prominent jets spouting from the moon's surface. They then compared these surface...

2007-08-23 11:46:49

Images taken by Cassini's Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument (MIMI) show that Saturn's ring current is a warped disc that balloons out of the equatorial plane on the planet's dayside and remains a thin disk that rises above the plane at larger distances on the nightside.  Dr Stamatios "Tom" Krimigis, the Principal Investigator for the instrument, who is presenting images at the European Planetary Science Congress in Potsdam on Thursday 23rd August, said, "Ring currents surround planets...

2007-08-23 11:44:27

On March 12, 2008, Cassini will swing by Saturn's moon Enceladus at an altitude of less than 100 kilometres at the point of closest approach.  This will give scientists and unprecedented opportunity to study the plumes of water vapour emanating from the "tiger stripe" fissures near the moon's south pole, but it has also given the Cassini team pause for thought as to whether ice grains lofted by the jets could damage the spacecraft. Dr Larry Esposito, who is presenting results of a study...

2007-08-23 11:30:00

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- A new model of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus may quell hopes of finding life there. Developed by researchers at the University of Illinois, the model explains the most salient observations on Enceladus without requiring the presence of liquid water. Orbiting Saturn since June 30, 2004, the Cassini spacecraft has revealed a south polar region of Enceladus with an elaborate arrangement of fractures and ridges, intense heat radiation and geyser-like plumes consisting of ice...

2007-08-02 18:30:00

PASADENA, Calif. - Cassini scientists may have identified the source of one of Saturn's more mysterious rings. Saturn's G ring likely is produced by relatively large, icy particles that reside within a bright arc on the ring's inner edge. The particles are confined within the arc by gravitational effects from Saturn's moon Mimas. Micrometeoroids collide with the particles, releasing smaller, dust-sized particles that brighten the arc. The plasma in the giant planet's magnetic field sweeps...

2007-06-14 08:14:20

Saturn's moons Tethys and Dione are flinging great streams of particles into space, according to data from the NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini mission to Saturn. The discovery suggests the possibility of some sort of geological activity, perhaps even volcanic, on these icy worlds. The particles were traced to the two moons because of the dramatic movement of electrically charged gas in the magnetic environs of Saturn. Known as plasma, the gas is composed of negatively charged electrons and positively...

2007-05-16 14:50:00

Pasadena, Calif. -- Rubbing your hands together on a cold day generates a bit of heat, and the same process of frictional heating may be what powers the geysers jetting out from the surface of Saturn's moon Enceladus. Tidal forces acting on fault lines in the moon's icy shell cause the sides of the faults to rub back and forth against each other, producing enough heat to transform some of the ice into plumes of water vapor and ice crystals, according to a new study published in the May 17...

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
  • A 'bachelor seal'; a young male seal which is prevented from mating by its herd's older males (mated bulls defending their territory).
This comes from the Russian word for 'bachelors.'