Scientists modeled how methane rainfall runoff would interact with the porous, icy crust of Saturn's moon Titan and found that a subsurface methane 'aquifer' might have its composition changed over time due to the formation of materials called clathrates.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft spies Mimas, positioned against the shadow of Saturn's rings, bright on dark. As we near summer in Saturn's northern hemisphere, the rings cast ever larger shadows on the planet.
What Lies Beneath: Regional View (Artist's Concept)
This artist's rendering shows a regional cross-section of the ice shell underlying Enceladus' south polar terrain, illustrating our current knowledge of the physical and thermal structure and processes ongoing below and at the surface.
What Lies Beneath: Close Up View (Artist's Concept)
This artist's rendering shows a cross-section of the ice shell immediately beneath one of Enceladus' geyser-active fractures, illustrating the physical and thermal structure and the processes ongoing below and at the surface.
On this polar stereographic map of Enceladus' south polar terrain, all 100 geysers have been plotted whose source locations have been determined in NASA's Cassini's imaging survey of the moon's geyser basin.
This plot shows the variation in brightness of the plume of material, composed of all the geysers erupting from the south polar terrain of Saturn's moon Enceladus, as a function of the moon's orbital position around Saturn.
This image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft, one of those acquired in the survey conducted by the Cassini imaging science team of the geyser basin at the south pole of Enceladus, was taken as Cassini was looking across the moon's south pole.
Seen by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, Tethys, like many moons in the solar system, keeps one face pointed towards the planet around which it orbits. Tethys' anti-Saturn face is seen here, fully illuminated, basking in sunlight.
Saturn appears to NASA's Cassini's cameras as a thin, sunlit crescent in this unearthly view. Citizens of Earth, being so much closer to the Sun than Saturn, never get to enjoy a view of Saturn like this without the aid of our robot envoys.
Seen by NASA's Cassini spacecraft within the vast expanse of Saturn's rings, Prometheus appears as little more than a dot. But that little moon still manages to shape the F ring, confining it to its narrow domain.
As seen by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, the surface of Dione is covered in craters, reminding us of the impacts that have shaped all of the worlds of our solar system; the surface also bears linear features that suggest geological activity in the past.
Only a sharp and careful eye can make out the subtle variations in Titan's clouds when viewed in visible light by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. This infrared image clearly reveals a band around the Titan's north pole.
The image on the left shows Cassini's view on approach to Phoebe, while the right shows the spacecraft's departing perspective. As it entered the Saturn system, NASA's Cassini spacecraft performed its first targeted flyby of one of the planet's moons.