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Sodium issue clouds Enceladus

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posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 11:39 PM
An ocean is not the source of the jets emanating from Saturn's moon Enceladus, a new study concludes.

The research questions the moon's promise as a target in the search for life beyond Earth and has stirred controversy among scientists who dispute its conclusions.

A chemical analysis of Enceladus, led by University of Colorado planetary scientist Nick Schneider, failed to detect sodium, an element scientists say should be in a body of water that has had billions of years of contact with rock.

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posted on Dec, 20 2007 @ 01:20 AM
Cassini Pinpoints Hot Sources Of Jets On Enceladus

A recent analysis of images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft provides conclusive evidence that the jets of fine, icy particles spraying from Saturn's moon Enceladus originate from the hottest spots on the moon's "tiger stripe" fractures that straddle the moon's south polar region. Members of Cassini's imaging team used two years' worth of pictures of the geologically active moon to locate the sources of the most prominent jets spouting from the moon's surface.

They then compared these surface source locations to hot spots detected by Cassini on Enceladus in 2005. The new results are published in the Oct. 11, 2007, issue of the journal Nature.

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