Enceladus Backlit by Saturn

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posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 06:54 AM
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Check out this amazing view of Saturn's moon Enceladus....




This moon is shining by the light of its planet. Specifically, a large portion of Enceladus pictured above is illuminated primarily by sunlight first reflected from the planet Saturn.
The result is that the normally snow-white moon appears in the gold color of Saturn's cloud tops. As most of the illumination comes from the image left, a labyrinth of ridges throws notable shadows just to the right of the image center, while the kilometer-deep canyon Labtayt Sulci is visible just below.
The bright thin crescent on the far right is the only part of Enceladus directly lit by the Sun.
The above image was taken last year by the robotic Cassini spacecraft during a close pass by by the enigmatic moon. Inspection of the lower part of this digitally sharpened image reveals plumes of ice crystals thought to originate in a below-surface sea.


source: APOD




posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 06:57 AM
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reply to post by elevenaugust
 


Wow that is amazingly beautiful!!

I always liked Saturn. It's probably one of the coolest planets, besides Mars
, with its rings.

I never really looked at any of Saturns moons before. Thanks for sharing



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 07:03 AM
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I didn't know Tatooine was in our solar system!



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 07:11 AM
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B E A utiful!!!

Thanks for posting.

Is it just me, but I'm sure I can imagine the flow of currents underneath that ice, perhaps like a gulf stream effect? Certainly the gravity of Saturn believed to be causing the cracking/refreezing of ice would not make such pronounced 'streams' of that size? Definitely think some form of rotational flow of liquid is involved.

S&F btw!
edit on 8-2-2012 by Qumulys because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 07:55 AM
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Right click - Save as desktop background

Thanks!



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 07:59 AM
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Here's the section enhanced to better see the plume jets.



This suggests fissures in Enceladus's surface may reach down to the believed liquid water sea below, warmed by tidal forces the little moon is under by the other larger moons and of course Saturn. Without this surface breach to the sea below scientists believe there would be no chance of life in the sea of Enceladus.



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 08:02 AM
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reply to post by mblahnikluver
 


You might want to take a peek at this thread for a very brief overview of this moon.



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 04:35 PM
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reply to post by Illustronic
 

Thank you Illustronic for linking to your work in the other thread. Everyone should go there.
Have I heard correctly that if you were to somehow find yourself standing on the moons surface, that your body heat would create an ice geyser as you sank into it? Like it is totally frozen gasses like ammonia and methane on the surface and the difference in human body temp and the frozen surface is like throwing a hot coal into water?

How about the stuff escaping the "vents". Is that like a CO2 fire extinguisher shooting up in the air?



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 04:54 PM
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Awesome pic, S&F well deserved. What a strange celestial body is Enceladus, it seems almost like ideally split in two parts, one with a lot of craters (the side in the pic facing the Sun) and the other...with no craters at all. That's pretty weird, IMHO. Does Enceladus rotate? If yes, it's really weird.

Thanks, OP!



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 06:16 PM
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reply to post by elevenaugust
 


Bewdiful!

Thanks for that.



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 06:33 PM
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Originally posted by intrptr
reply to post by Illustronic
 


Have I heard correctly that if you were to somehow find yourself standing on the moons surface, that your body heat would create an ice geyser as you sank into it? Like it is totally frozen gasses like ammonia and methane on the surface and the difference in human body temp and the frozen surface is like throwing a hot coal into water?

How about the stuff escaping the "vents". Is that like a CO2 fire extinguisher shooting up in the air?


I've never heard that one, the surface and gas erupting from the polar hot spot is water ice. Here on JPL's Cassini site hit the virtual tour in the At a Glance box for a brief rundown. Its surface is nearly all water ice, trace amounts of CO2, NH3 (ammonia), and undefined and crystalline water ice, the plumes have no ammonia trace. It's the most reflective object in the solar system, keeping its surface -200ºC.

Enceladus is a puzzle, and has a complex number of tidal forces, a complex orbit and tectonic structure.

I can link a couple papers about its orbit if interested, but part of the Cassini spacecraft is to get more information of its surface composition.



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 06:59 PM
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reply to post by elevenaugust
 


I am not usually happy to see Saturn illuminating anything.

However in this case I make an exception.

Thanks for sharing.



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 08:00 PM
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reply to post by elevenaugust
 


AMAZING! I'm saving this pic too!



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 08:52 PM
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Cool pic!
And thanks for trumping that horrible thread about why we should all be ego-less sheep that was tops a bit ago!!!!!!




posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 09:09 PM
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these pictures are always beautiful to see, but i cant help it....
there seems to be some light underneat it. Like it's just sitting on a table
yes ?



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 09:10 PM
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reply to post by Illustronic
 

Hey illustronic, thanks for the reply. My bad, must have been thinking of another deep freeze moon. Whats the other one with geysers of ammonia and methane?

Anyway, I went to link and took a snapshot of the virtual tour. I thought the hot spot looked like a crater impact. I know "they sayers" think tidal forces. Just went wow at the "rim".


saturn.jpl.nasa.gov...



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 09:46 PM
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nice but i think if there is water it would be from geo thurmal heat am i right ?



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 09:47 PM
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Stupendous. For some reason reminds me of a lump of modeling clay. And for some reason, that makes me wax philosophical.

Philosophical isn't always happy about it, but she looks pretty sleek waxed!



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 09:48 PM
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reply to post by elevenaugust
 


Enjoy this data coming from NASA today because soon it will be China and India who will be sending back data from their missions in the future like this.



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 10:05 PM
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Seeing a cryovolcano in person would be pretty damn awesome. I actually just watched a special tha talked about this moon a lot. It's one of the 8 wonders of the universe






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