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Space Fresh Tiger Stripes on Saturn's Enceladus

Discussion in 'Tech, Science, and Space' started by Robby, Jun 28, 2009.

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  1. Robby

    Robby The Robot

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    NASA Astronomy Picture Of The Day
    Fresh Tiger Stripes on Saturn's Enceladus


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    Fresh Tiger Stripes on Saturn's Enceladus
    Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA

    Explanation: Do underground oceans vent through the tiger stripes on Saturn's moon Enceladus? Long features dubbed tiger stripes are known to be spewing ice from the moon's icy interior into space, creating a cloud of fine ice particles over the moon's South Pole and creating Saturn's mysterious E-ring. Evidence for this has come from the robot Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn. Pictured above, a high resolution image of Enceladus is shown from a close flyby. The unusual surface features dubbed tiger stripes are visible in false-color blue. Why Enceladus is active remains a mystery, as the neighboring moon Mimas, approximately the same size, appears quite dead. Most recently, an analysis of dust captured by Cassini found evidence for sodium as expected in a deep salty ocean. Conversely however, recent Earth-based observations of ice ejected by Enceladus into Saturn's E-Ring showed no evidence of the expected sodium. Such research is particularly interesting since such an ocean would be a candidate to contain life.



    (Via NASA)
     

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