Monday, November 28, 2005

The fountains of Enceladus

The Cassini space probe has snapped some fascinating images of fountains of particles streaming into space from Saturn's moon Enceladus. The image below shows the streams of material illuminated by sunlight from behind the moon... A false colour image shows more details of the phenomenon.

Ever since the Tiger Stripes seen near the Southern pole of the moon were found to be warmer than the surrounding landscape, it has been suspected that some form of ice volcano may be pushing material out the Tiger Stripes. Now we now that the effect is real and we can add another body in the solar system to the list of geologically active worlds. Cool!

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