The Newest Wrinkle from Saturn

Enceladus: The Newest Wrinkle from Saturn's Tiger-Striped Moon

Mar. 20 & 21

Only two moons in our solar system are thought to have liquid water, and evidence collected by the Cassini spacecraft during multiple flybys suggests that Saturn's moon, Enceladus, could have liquid water reservoirs that erupt in Yellowstone-like geysers. Cassini has collected data, including high-resolution images of Enceladus' warm, south polar region, which reveal icy jets and towering plumes of particles and vapor ejected at high speed. Warm, low-density material rising to the surface could have literally caused Enceladus to roll over, putting the mass of warm material at the south pole. Tidal forces that squeeze and stretch the moon are a likely source of internal heat, but imaging and compositional data from the closest flyby yet of this intriguing satellite, earlier this month, may provide even more clues. We explore the mysteries of the fascinating world of Enceladus and investigate its place in the Saturn system.

Dr. Amanda Hendrix
JPL Research Scientist

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