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Astronomy Slideshow

Enceladus - Saturn's Moons Slideshow

Saturn's Moon Enceladus We're going to continue focusing on Enceladus for a moment. One of the big discoveries of the Cassini mission have been jets shooting from the surface of the moon. This image shows Enceladus backlit by the sun and fountain-like sources of fine spray over the South Polar Region. The greatly enhanced and colorized image also shows the extent of the fainter, larger-scale component of the plume.

NASA imaging scientists believe that the jets are geysers erupting from pressurized subsurface reservoirs of liquid water above 273 degrees Kelvin (0 degrees Celsius). This is a huge discovery because many scientists believe that life is a possibility on any moon or planet with liquid water. While the focus of the Cassini mission was Titan, this discovery was an exciting surprise.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

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