It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Icy Moon, Mysterious Jets - Enceladus

page: 1

log in


posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 10:46 PM

Until a few years ago, Enceladus, here seen above Saturn's rings, was a non-descript 310-mile-wide iceball, one of dozens of moons around Saturn. This image was taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft at a distance of 1.3 million miles. dus_index.html

What a great collection of images to document our journey of exploring a 310 mile wide satellite of Saturn.... always suspected of creating that E-Ring. Beautiful!


[edit on 18-8-2008 by Rashaverak]

posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 10:49 PM
I apolgize, the link doesn't seem to be working... *meeps*

I'm green-- a total newb, forgive me.

posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 12:08 AM

Originally posted by Rashaverak
I'm green-- a total newb, forgive me.

Hopefully, I'll never say that again. In some efforts to save the dignity my premiere post, I'd like to offer some more inspiration for conversation.

The slideshow shows the progression of the discoveries the scientists made from various images taken at various distances, and I found it amazing how the perspective of each consecutive image gradually made this seemingly insignificant rock all that much more personal.

To think that tiny ball of rock can create so much ejecta, tossing its contents into the gravity well of Saturn and create one of several rings around the planet.

It makes me wish sometimes I took that career path to discovering and studying the "insignificant" things around us that eventually make the big picture more colorful.

With that said and hopefully my shreds of newbishness tossed aside...I'll try not to make any further posts without perfecting it with many previews.


posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 06:20 AM
reply to post by Rashaverak

Thanks for the link and info; sure interesting. You almost wonder is the source for the "jest" get depleted at one time. So what is this planet made from, anyway? Are the jets result of vaporating water (H2O)? that would sure mean something?. I'm curious if anything different is discoverd.

posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 08:18 AM
reply to post by saturnus1962

Cassini did a fly-by (or more of a fly-through) of the geysers of Enceladus back in March and actually "tasted" the material coming from that jet with it's analyzing equipment. Cassini found the material in the jets to water and organic materials, much like what you would find in a comet (remember: "organic material" does not necessarily mean life.)

It is believed that there may be a liquid water ocean under the surface of Enceladus which is heated from within, maybe from the tidal forces resulting from Saturn's gravity pulling on it, just like with Jupiter and Europa.

The March fly-by was discussed here on ATS when it occurred. There is another fly-through of the jets planned for October, this time at a much lower altitude than in March.

Here is a press release from the March fly-by:

Heres an interesting excerpt from that article:

"Enceladus has got warmth, water and organic chemicals, some of the essential building blocks needed for life," said Dennis Matson, Cassini project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "We have quite a recipe for life on our hands, but we have yet to find the final ingredient, liquid water, but Enceladus is only whetting our appetites for more."

[edit on 8/19/2008 by Soylent Green Is People]

posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 08:25 AM
Thanks for the info.

Thanks for the info again (because one-liners are not allowed)

posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 08:49 AM
I was recently at IEEE 100 years of engineering in Fort Wayne,In. The event featured a presentation by Cassini scientist carolyn porco. She is very exited about water/organic finding of the jets coming from Enceladus. The mission is not over by any stretch..They have been configuring flybys within 30 miles of the surface as mentioned by Soylent Green Is People. Wouldn't it be something if life is found on this obscure little moon.

posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 09:29 AM
Definitely some mysterious things going on in the Saturn area!

Well, mysterious, if you believe what most of these scientists are postulating.

Something that might be of interest, Enceladus and Saturn both have surprisingly "hot" poles. So, according to mainstream though, Saturn's hot poles are due to atmospheric conditions, right? Right.

If you look at pictures of Enceladus, you'll notice the same hexagonal shape at the south pole as you do on Saturn's north pole.

Don't these jets on Enceladus look somewhat familiar? Io perhaps???

[edit on 20-8-2008 by DevolutionEvolvd]

posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 01:42 PM

Originally posted by DevolutionEvolvd...Don't these jets on Enceladus look somewhat familiar? Io perhaps???...
[edit on 20-8-2008 by DevolutionEvolvd]

No...Not really.

Io's volcanos are more similar to volcanos on Earth, since they expel basalt silicate lava from deep within Io's mantle. The plumes that rise from these volcanos are a sulfur/sulfur dioxide gas by produced by the molton basalt silica lava.

The geysers of Enceladus are nothing like that at all. These geysers are composed of water and organic materials that possible originate from a liquid water ocean that perhaps lies just below the surface of Enceladus. The process that drives these water geysers is not the same as the volcanism on Io.

By the way, Io itself has pratically NO water, since Jupiter was so hot when it formed that it drove off all of the water from that material that eventually formed Io. Europa, Ganymede and Callisto all have water (in fact a LOT of water) becuase they formed further away from the hot Jupiter.

[edit on 8/20/2008 by Soylent Green Is People]

posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 02:18 PM
Thanks for the Correction. I was wrong. I should have refreshed my memory on what NASA says is the right answer. My apologies.

I have a question though......

Isn't Enceladus strikingly similar to a comet?

Also, on Io, with a plume that is observed, shouldn't we expect to see one single powerful vent?

Instead, like on Enceladus, we see multiple hot spots arranged in a row.


posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 02:40 PM
Io, Enceladus, and Europa are all completely fascinating to me...something's cookin' on one or all of these moons (and, let's not forget about Titan!)

posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 03:59 PM
Thank you all for your contributions, it is greatly appreciated.

The Tiger Stripes are simply amazing. Then, the fact that the jets are only visible in a certain part of Enceladus' orbit around Saturn, that getting closer to the gas giant is like a switch, compressing the crust and ejecting tons of material out of its own gravity.

The Earth is in an elliptical orbit around the Sun, while not as extreme as Enceladus' orbit around Saturn, though we know the Earth's orbit is nearly circular. However, do any of you suspect that even the slight differences of us getting closer/nearer to the sun also causes more tectonic activity?

Although, I suppose one must not forget that Enceladus is 310-miles wide and Earth is far bigger.


posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 05:17 PM
The sun is far bigger too.

The Tiger Stripes are simply amazing.

Yeah it sure is......How did the stripes become laid out in such a complex pattern?

the fact that the jets are only visible in a certain part of Enceladus' orbit around Saturn, that getting closer to the gas giant is like a switch, compressing the crust and ejecting tons of material out of its own gravity.

Hmm, like when a comet gets close to the sun and jettisons it's own plumes? Interesting.....

posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 09:33 PM
Reading all of your comments ramped up my interest in this moon. I've searched around and I must say... New York Times' slideshow, although well presented in a poppy way, have nothing on JPL/NASA's Cassini-Huygens website.

I would like to point out the Catalog Page for PIA08419. Wow. The photomosaic maps are stunning and informative. It lead me to find out that the IAU named all the regions after characters from the Arabian Nights!

What a lovely moon.

top topics


log in